SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – A 42-year-old man drove his car around a road closure and through the Days of 47 Parade route on Saturday, according to Salt Lake City Police.
Authorities say the man was attempting to get to his nearby home, and was quickly and safely arrested during the event.
The investigation started at around 10:15 a.m. at 100 E 200 S when a man, who has been identified as John Kotun, approached officers on foot and asked if he could go around the road closure to get home.
Hours earlier, officers “secured the parade route” and put in place a hard closure, meaning no outside vehicle traffic would be permitted along the parade route.
The officers repeatedly told the driver he could not pass, according to a press release.
To help Kotun get home, officers suggested he park his car nearby and walk to his residence.
The driver reportedly left in his car without incident.
Police say that out of an abundance of caution, the two officers repositioned themselves to get a better vantage point of the parade route, and when looking out, noticed Kotun attempting to drive around the road closure.
The officers immediately contacted the driver for a second time and told him he could not access the parade route.
Kotun left again, without incident, and the officers continued to maintain a “heightened awareness” around their post.
Shortly after turning Kotun around for the second time, the officers saw that the man had successfully gotten through an opening where parade staff and equipment was set up.
Kotun was reportedly driving slowly on the parade route.
SLCPD officers ordered the man to stop the car, but he began accelerating slowly, police say.
Due to the potential danger, officers opened the car door and successfully put the car in park and got the driver out without further incident.
Authorities say the driver continued to reiterate that his apartment was nearby, and he was trying to get home.
Officers confirmed that Kotun’s residence was, in fact, in the area where he told officers he was going.
Based on the investigation, Kotun acknowledged he should not have driven onto the parade route, according to SLCPD.
Kotun got about “a half-block” before being stopped and removed from the car.
Officers cited Kotun with one count of Failing to Obey a Traffic Control Device and one count of Unlawfully Driving Left of Center.
No further information is currently available.