A Tennessee man made national headlines when he was arrested following a Christmas parade and children’s event on Saturday.
KTLA reports that 40-year-old Henry Meade was operating a motorized lawnmower that was decked out as Santa’s Train” in Tazewell and was pulling carts filled with children and their families.
Immediately following the event, eyewitnesses observed Meade acting erratically. The Tazewell Police Department was alerted, and officers were sent to investigate the report.
Responding officers reported that Meade was unsteady on his feet. Officers administered field sobriety tests to Meade and determined that he was under the influence of alcohol and/ or drugs. Meade was arrested and taken into custody.
According to a statement from a spokesperson for the Tazewell Police Department, at the time of Meade’s arrest, officers found a syringe, methamphetamine, and other narcotics on him.
In a joint statement, the town’s mayor and police chief said that vendors for the event were independent contractors and that Meade had not been hired by the city for the parade.
“Despite this, the Tazewell Police Department responded quickly to the incident, ensuring the safety of the attendees,” the statement from Mayor Bill Fannon and Chief Jeremy Myers read. “The rapid action taken by our law enforcement underscores our commitment to public safety.”
Meade was later taken to the Claiborne County Jail. Police documents indicate that Meade is facing several charges, including driving under the influence of alcohol, possession of methamphetamines, and other related drug charges.