A man instigated a brief police chase after he drove his truck into crowded parade festivities in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday, according to authorities.
Sidney Sean Mecham, 42, was arrested after an officer on a motorcycle was alerted to man driving a pickup truck into the closed route of the annual Grand Floral Parade, according to a press release from the Portland Police Bureau (PPB).
A witness who spoke to local CBS affiliate KOIN said children were still in the road when Mecham’s pickup truck careened into the street.
“I thought any minute someone was going to get hit,” the witness said, adding there were “tons of little toddlers.”
“Little kids were running out in the middle of the road grabbing candy, and then all of a sudden, probably about two blocks down […], I believe it was a gray pickup truck come barreling down the street,” the witness continued. “We think he was going about 30 miles an hour. And everyone was screaming, running out to get their kids.”
The PPB press release noted that the officer “saw parade goers running out of the street and heard them screaming, trying to get his attention,” and that he pursed Mecham, pulling up alongside him and telling him to pull over.
Mecham repeatedly refused to stop, according to police.
The officer then drove ahead of Mecham’s truck to warn pedestrians about potential danger, but he drove out of the way after it appeared the truck was going to hit him. Mecham then suddenly veered left toward families on the curb, according to PPB.
Police followed Mecham through a barricade as parade volunteers dove out of the way.
The PPB Air Support Unit then began following the truck and was able to update the officers on the ground, according to police. Mecham was arrested after he eventually stopped near an intersection.
Mecham was booked at the Multnomah County Detention Center on charges of recklessly endangering another person, disorderly conduct, attempt to elude and reckless driving, according to police. He was also reportedly slapped with a hit-and-run charge in an unrelated case.
Mecham, whose truck was towed for not having insurance, was also cited for driving while suspended, failure to obey a police officer and for having no insurance, according to authorities.
Mecham has a lengthy criminal history that includes traffic violations and sex crimes, according to KOIN. Portland Police Bureau spokesperson David Baer confirmed to the local outlet that Mecham is a registered sex offender, and court documents indicate that his first sex-related charges go back to 1996 in Multnomah County.