Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Entertainment

December 19, 2012

Dancing cop stops holiday traffic in Rhode Island

(Continued)

His secret didn't last long. City residents began calling the police station and raving about Lepore's moves. A few days later, The Providence Journal, the state's largest newspaper, came out with a story on the sensation.

The positive publicity encouraged officials to endorse the dancing cop, who continued to perform until he left the job in 1988, when he went into business with his brother with a food and vending service.

In 1992, Lepore says, he got a call from city officials asking him to rejoin the force to dance and direct traffic around Christmastime as they pushed to redefine the city's image and bring visitors downtown.

He signed a $1,200, 10-day contract as a reserve police officer and says he has frozen the value of the contract at the 1992 rate to encourage city officials to recall his services every year.

Standing in traffic, he adjusts his cap, shakes his hip, raises and twists one leg and spins. In one of the more unusual moves, he bends his knees, leans far back and quickly alternates support for his body by keeping one hand on the ground while motioning to the traffic with the free hand.

In one move, he goes down on his knees in homage to John Travolta's character in "Saturday Night Fever."

He says his body takes a pounding and that he has had knee surgery, pulled some muscles and even suffered stress fractures.

"This is ridiculous! Oh, man, this guy is the best," an incredulous Vik Jay, a medical student at Brown University, says after seeing the "Dancing Cop" in action for the first time. "I'm from San Francisco. I used to go to Castro Street, and this is far more entertaining than anything I saw there."

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