After more than seven years working as a Chattanooga park ranger, Deryl Nelson recently danced his way out of job.
The 51-year-old told Chattanooga’s WRCB-TV 3, the local NBC affiliate, that he has always enjoyed dancing and eventually brought a few dance moves into his day job. Nelson says he first began dancing on the job after he joined a group of visitors doing the “Macarena,” causing the crowd of onlookers to erupt in cheers and applause. Since then, the ranger says he’s thrown a random two-step in almost daily as he completes his ranger duties.
— Gregory Martin (@NEligrey) June 24, 2014
Nelson says he was known as the “dancing park ranger” and feels he did nothing wrong. He says he was only trying to give visitors a little laugh.
"It's all about enjoying what you do and that's the way I feel," Nelson said. He added that his dance moves were "clean fun” and “nothing like doing any bumping and grinding."
Since it is a personnel matter, city officials say they won’t comment on the case. According to WRCB, Nelson’s records don’t show he’s ever been reprimanded for dancing. But he did receive a violation for hitting a vehicle in 2010 and making an “unwelcome” comment about a co-worker.”
The city says they don’t have a copy of the video that led to his firing, and the original clip is no longer able to be viewed online. However, there are a few copies of the video uploaded to YouTube by other users.