McPrankster found not guilty in Utah rap case

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Not McGuilty.

That was the verdict from a Utah judge Tuesday in the case of a teen cited with disorderly conduct after he and some friends went through a McDonald's drive-thru, rapping an order into the speaker.

Spenser Dauwalder was cited with the infraction in October after he was part of a group that imitated a rap from a popular YouTube video that begins, "I need a double cheeseburger and hold the lettuce."

Fourth District Judge Thomas Low delivered the verdict Tuesday in American Fork, about 30 miles south of Salt Lake City. Dauwalder had pleaded not guilty and pledged to fight the citation.

"We thought, you know, just teenagers out having fun," Dauwalder told KSL Newsradio last year. "We didn't think it would escalate to that."

The 18-year-old has said employees at the fast-food restaurant told him and his friends they were holding up the line and needed to order or leave.

But Dauwalder said no one else was in line. He and his three 17-year-old friends left without buying anything.

A manager wrote down the car's license plate number and called authorities. Officers later cited the teens in a high school parking lot outside a volleyball match.

Dauwalder told The Associated Press on Tuesday he wasn't even the one rapping. He says he was just driving the car.

"I was pretty scared," he said. "I didn't really know what would happen in court. It was kind of intimidating. ... I'm just glad the truth really came out."

Kasey Wright, who represented the city, said while it's true that Dauwalder wasn't the one rapping, the judge determined he was complicit in what was going on. But the judge ultimately found the activity simply did not rise to the level of disorderly conduct, Wright said.

"We were disappointed in the ruling," he said.

Wright said the case was never about the rapping. He said it was about disruption of the business and alleged threatening behavior toward a restaurant employee.

Dauwalder's mother, Sharon Dauwalder, said it was unfortunate the case had to be resolved in the courts at taxpayers' expense.

"I think justice was served," she said. "I think in our case the system worked."

A second disorderly conduct infraction against Dauwalder is pending in an unrelated case. He has pleaded not guilty.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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