PITTSBURGH - An unidentified city police sergeant is facing possible discipline for having his picture taken in uniform while wearing a unicorn mask and standing next to a porn star who had just been thrown out of a Pittsburgh Pirates game for dancing in the costume head.
But the woman who took the picture, an adult film producer named Steviee Hughes, said she's not sure what the fuss is all about, though she's assuming it has more to do with adult entertainer Andy San Dimas posing next to the officer than it does the oversized animal head he wore on July 13.
Calling it a "mountain made out of mole hill," Hughes said, "I'm sure if she wouldn't have been a porn star, it would have been OK."
City public safety officials said Dimas was in town last Saturday to dance at a local night club but went to the Pirates game first and was ejected by security for refusing to sit down after she was seen dancing while wearing the large unicorn head.
When Dimas was taken to a security office at PNC Park, the sergeant and others were standing around and Hughes said he agreed to wear the unicorn head and pose for a picture, which Hughes then posted on Twitter.
That's when the tweet hit the fan.
Gossipy news blogs Deadspin and TMZ posted the photo as well as cellphone video Hughes shot of Dimas dancing in the unicorn head just before she was ejected. Rumors spread that the dancer was high on drugs or part of a sexual cult fixated on unicorns.
Hughes said the truth is much simpler.
"It's silliness; it's just people having fun," Hughes said.
Some friends call themselves the Unicorn Army on Instagram - another web-based photo sharing site - and try to find unusual places to get pictures of someone wearing the unicorn head, Hughes said.
Dimas and Hughes went to the game with tickets the strip club gave them and took the unicorn mask because they "thought it would be funny to take the picture of thousands of people with one random unicorn head in there."
That's when a stadium camera operator saw Dimas and motioned for her to stand up so she could be shown on the stadium's video scoreboard, but Dimas took it one step further and started dancing in the aisle. When an usher asked her to sit down, Dimas didn't - but only because Hughes said it's hard to hear and see while wearing the unicorn head - so Dimas and Hughes were asked to leave, Hughes said.
The sergeant who posed for the picture was one of several people in the ballpark security office.
"There was a bunch of people there, other security officers, too, and they just thought it was fun," Hughes said. "I think he was just being nice. There were other officers and people in the room and they were, like, 'Put it on' and he's, like, 'I'll do it.'"
Public safety director Michael Huss said the sergeant may be disciplined because, "This is someone that is a supervisor, that we look up to to lead other officers. It's not the example we're looking for."
Police spokeswoman Diane Richard said acting Chief Regina McDonalds was still reviewing the incident Friday, but considers it a "personnel matter" that she's not going to discuss publicly.
Hughes is hoping the sergeant gets a pass.
"It was like a two-second thing ... and it turns into some weird randomness," Hughes said.