KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A man accused of operating a motorized train for children while under the influence during a Christmas event in Tennessee was arrested over the weekend.
Police in Tazewell say Henry Meade, 40, was operating “Santa’s Train” at the town’s Christmas Tractor Parade — i.e., driving a motorized lawn mower that he was using to pull carts full of children and their families.
On Saturday evening, visitors at the event said they saw Moore acting erratically. Local police officers were soon alerted to the man’s behavior, according to the Tazewell Police Department.
Officers said Meade was unsteady on his feet. A field sobriety test determined he was under the influence, according to an arrest narrative. Meade was taken into custody, and police found a syringe, meth and several other narcotics on his person.
The town’s mayor and police chief released a joint statement saying Meade was not hired by the city for the parade, but rather that vendors are independently contracted.
“Despite this, the Tazewell Police Department responded swiftly to the incident, ensuring the safety of event attendees. The rapid action taken by our law enforcement underscores our commitment to public safety.
It is important to note that in a 1/8 mile radius on Main Street during the event we had 14 police officers on foot patrol for several thousands attendees. Public safety is paramount on any day at any time and this event was no different.”Mayor Bill Fannon and Chief of Police Jeremy Myers
Meade faces charges of driving under the influence, possession of methamphetamine and other drug charges.