Lexington police Sgt. Jason Rothermund is used to singing and playing guitar for friends around a campfire, but performing in uniform for thousands downtown on the Fourth of July was something else entirely.
Rothermund, a 10-year veteran of the force, was on foot patrol in Triangle Park during Lexington's Independence Day festivities when a fellow officer set him up by having Rothermund called up to the stage to perform.
"The whole crowd to watch the fireworks was there," Rothermund said Monday night. "I really didn't want to get up there."
But he was a sport, and a video of his rendition of the 1980s hair band classic Every Rose Has Its Thorn is getting lots of attention.
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Singer Bret Michaels, who had a No. 1 hit with the song as lead vocalist for Poison, responded to the video via Twitter saying, "This is truly awesome. Great job Sergeant Rothermund and thank you for your service!"
Rothermund said he's been to four Poison concerts throughout the years.
"I just love '80s hair band music," he said. "For him to actually comment back ... was just really awesome."
Rothermund, 32, who is also the FOP Bluegrass Lodge #4 president, said that he has "just been absolutely tickled" with the public response and that he enjoyed being part of the community festivities.
When the audience urged him to get onstage, Rothermund said, he chose the Poison song because it is "a crowd favorite."
"I tried to give them the best I could," he said. "You talk about nerves."
See the performance and Michael's response below.