Crime - Sacto 911

‘Dancing Dan,’ local sign twirler, in hospital after reported beating

Known as “Dancing Dan” to many commuters in the Arden Arcade area, Daniel Sloan, 62, gets help zipping up his Spider Man costume, from Omega Ramos, a homeless outreach navigator with Sacramento Steps Forward on August 9, 2016. Sloan was hospitalized after being attacked Sunday night.
Known as “Dancing Dan” to many commuters in the Arden Arcade area, Daniel Sloan, 62, gets help zipping up his Spider Man costume, from Omega Ramos, a homeless outreach navigator with Sacramento Steps Forward on August 9, 2016. Sloan was hospitalized after being attacked Sunday night. lsterling@sacbee.com

Daniel Sloan, a sign twirler better known as “Dancing Dan” to many commuters in the Arden Arcade area, was hospitalized after being attacked Sunday night.

Sloan was found by a friend around 11 p.m. beaten on the street corner of Arden Way and Morse Avenue where he was sleeping, according to Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Nick Goncalves.

Beloved by many, the 61-year-old, who has developmental disabilities, is a fixture in the area known for his good-natured personality and creative sign-waving tactics – including once dressing up as Spider Man.

“Thanks to his professionalism, incomparable style, and unfailingly upbeat attitude, countless local businesses have hired Dan to wave their signs, knowing that it's practically impossible to drive past Dan without taking notice,” read a crowdfunding page to help raise money for Sloan. The page raised $2,232 as of about 11:30 a.m.

Sloan was a familiar face to those working in the area, such as Office Max employee Julia Cooper. She said the news of the beating was unexpected, given Sloan’s popularity.

“People shouldn’t beat people up who just want to have a good time,” Cooper said. “He’s not known for being bad, just dancing and making people laugh.”

Carmichael resident Jason Hughes’ wife created the crowdfunding page soon after hearing news of the beating. The owner of Sacramento Shirt Shop, he said his wife have seen Sloan “upbeat and always working” in the neighborhood for about ten years.

“ Every time we pass him by with our kids, our kids go, ‘Dancing Dan! Dancing Dan!’ ” said Hughes, adding that it’s “bewildering” that someone would want to hurt Sloan.

On Facebook and Twitter, there was an outpouring of support for the sign twirler.

“I've seen Dan many many times in my errands around the Arden Marconi Fulton area...was always amazed by his stamina!” wrote Marykay Costello in a Facebook comment on a page dedicated to Dancing Dan. “What was done to him is just not right.”

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department could not be immediately reached for comment.

Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks: 916-321-1418, @ayoonhendricks

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