Police: Man drove into Ala. Christmas parade; no one injured

Police Chief James Chapman said the man drove through an intersection blocked by police and “flipped off” the officers

By Carol Robinson

BLOUNT COUNTY, Ala. — A man was arrested at a Blount County Christmas parade Tuesday night after police in Hayden said he nearly drove into members of a high school band.

Tony Nix Jr. is being held without bond on a charge of reckless endangerment. No one was injured, police said.

“It could have been a lot worse than it was,” said Hayden Police Chief James Chapman.

As the parade made its way along Alabama 160, near the intersection of Dean’s Ferry Road, Chapman said he saw a car with no headlights on being chased by officers on foot. Chapman said he later learned the man drove through an intersection blocked by police and “flipped off” the officers.

“He wasn’t stopping,” Chapman said.

Members of the Hayden High School band were “having to jump out of the way from this guy’s car,” Chapman added.

Chapman said police don’t believe he wasn’t trying to strike anyone but knew he was driving into a crowd.

He was eventually stopped and arrested and his vehicle was towed. He faces additional charges, Chapman said.

“I don’t know what spurred the incident,” Chapman said.

Nix is believed to have kids in school, and possibly in the marching band, Chapman said.

“It just takes one person like that to mess everything up...we will have to take more stringent precautions,” Chapman said of future parades.

[RELATED: 3 considerations for safer parades]

“If there is anyone who would like to make a police report for reckless endangerment needs to contact Hayden PD and we will get this process started,” Chapman posted on Facebook.

The incident comes weeks after a man drove a Ford Escape into a Christmas parade in downtown Waukesha, Wis. on Nov. 21.

Six people were killed and more than 60 were injured. The suspect there faces six counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the incident. No possible motive has been given.

“This could have been a repeat of that had these people not been alert and our police officers hd not been alert and jumped on him when they did,” Chapman said.

“He could have really injured a lot of people.”

[NEXT: Off-duty cop reunites with mother-son duo he saved at Waukesha parade attack]

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