KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A man was arrested this weekend in Tazewell during pre-parade festivities for operating a motorized train for children under the influence.
On Saturday evening, many people saw the conductor of “Santa’s Train” acting erratically which gained the attention of Tazewell Police officers. The man has been identified as Henry Meade, 40. According to the Tazewell Police Department, he was driving a motorized lawn mower converted to a ‘train’ to pull two carts behind it. It was used to give rides on “Santa’s Train” to families during the Christmas Tractor Parade on Main Street in Tazewell.
Officers said Meade was unsteady on his feet. A field sobriety test was done and determined he was under the influence, according to an arrest narrative. Meade was taken into custody. A search of his person found a syringe, meth and several other narcotics on him.
Following the arrest, TPD released a statement saying that Meade was not hired by the city for the parade, but instead, 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 was taken to the Claiborne County Jail. He faces charges of driving under the influence, possession of methamphetamine and other drug charges.