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Man driving 'Santa's Train' for kids charged with DUI, drug possession

Police took the man into custody and found a syringe, meth and several other narcotics on his person.
Man driving 'Santa's Train' for kids charged with DUI, drug possession
Posted at 1:29 PM, Nov 15, 2023

A man driving a motorized train for kids at a Christmas event in Tennessee has been arrested for driving under the influence.

Police in Tazewell said the man was a vendor driving at the town's Christmas Tractor Parade on Nov. 11. He had been operating "Santa's Train," which was essentially a motorized tractor towing carts of kids and their families.

Reports have identified the suspect as Henry Meade. Visitors claimed Meade was acting erratically, and officers responded to reports of his behavior.

Meade failed a field sobriety test and was arrested, according to WATE. Police found a syringe, meth and other narcotics on his person.

Officials said the suspect faces DUI and drug possession charges.

In a joint statement, Tazewell Mayor Bill Fannon and Chief of Police Jeremy Myers praised police for their quick response.

"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," Fannon and Myers said. 

"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 thousand attendees. Public safety is paramount on any day, at any time, and this event was no different," they continued. 

Officials clarified that vendor hiring is not done under the city's jurisdiction. Vendors of the parade are independently contracted, and their selection is not managed by the city.

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