Arts and Culture

The Denver Flash Mob goes on, minus one con artist

Update, 12:30 p.m. Monday: Watch the video of Sunday's flash mob at FlatIron Crossing below and see photos from the "Party Rock Anthem" flash mob.

Eric Rosenberg calls it the "Rick Saga" on his blog, where the Denver Flash Mob co-founder writes about con-man Rick Strandloff, aka Rick Duncan, the way a betrayed friend would.

"I think with the flash mob thing, he genuinely did like and enjoy it," Rosenberg says of the Denver Flash Mob's co-founder, who turned out to be a notorious Denver con man.

But that didn't soften the blow when a Denver rabbi forwarded him a New York Times article that gave this version of Rick Duncan's past:

"A former Marine Corps captain who suffered brain trauma from a roadside bomb in Iraq and was at the Pentagon during the Sept. 11 attacks. An advocate for veterans rights who opposed the war. An Annapolis graduate who was proudly gay. With his gold-plated credentials, he commanded the respect and attention of not just politicians, but also police chiefs, reporters and veterans advocates for the better part of two years."
But as the Times piece explained, none of that story was true.

Rosenberg, a 26-year-old financial analyst, says that despite having a huckster infiltrate his social circle, he hasn't let it taint his love for the flash mob, and so he's organizing a "Party Rock Anthem" flash mob on Sunday at FlatIron Crossing in Broomfield.

Unlike many flash-mobbers, Rosenberg quietly contacts private spaces like malls to first get the okay. And not every mall was open to having the Denver Flash Mob take over its real estate for a seemingly random performance. Officials at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center and Park Meadows Mall weren't having it."Others said they have no 'flash mob' policies," says Rosenberg. "I was shocked."

Doesn't that look ridiculous? Of course it does, but rest assured there should be about a hundred other dancers joining you on Sunday, causing FlatIron shoppers to do double-takes. "We're not going to announce the meet-up spot," Rosenberg says. Instead, would-be mobbers should sign up for the e-mail list or check the Denver Flash Mob's Facebook page Sunday morning.

Participants are also encouraged to dress like LMFAO, the duo whose song is now almost heard exclusively in sports arenas or on KIA commercials (the ones with the gerbils.)

As for Rick, Rosenberg has deleted him from his Facebook and cell phone, the two most extreme measures taken to avoid someone in the modern age.

"I have a few friends who have run into him and we know when he's out and about in town," Rosenberg says. "He has expressed -- once by e-mail and to a friend -- apologies to us. He knows we were upset."

You can read Rosenberg's full account of the incident on his blog: "You Wouldn't Believe What Happened to Me: The Rick Strandlof Saga," and get more info on the Denver Flash Mob at

Update, 12:30 p.m. Monday: Here's a video from Sunday: (see photos)

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