The unidentified man was reportedly a vendor at the Claiborne County Christmas Tractor Parade on November 11. According to the Tazewell Police Department the man was “giving youngsters rides” through the town.
Footage posted online showed a man driving a red tractor with multiple carriages, bearing the words “Santa Choo Choo” being spoken to by officers.
The police department said later that the arrested individual faced charges of drug possession and driving under the influence.
“It is important to clarify that vendor hiring is not under the city’s jurisdiction. Vendors are independently contracted, and their selection is not managed by the city,” the department said in a statement.
“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.”
Thousands of people had attended the event at the weekend. The department added that within the 1/8 mile radius of the parade there were 14 police officers on foot patrol.
“Public safety is paramount on any day at any time and this event was no different. It is unfortunate but the police officers did their job and protected everyone involved,” the statement added.