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Driver detained after going around barrier into Days of '47 parade route

Posted at 11:30 AM, Jul 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-23 18:24:18-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A driver was detained Saturday after police say he drove around a barrier and into the Days of '47 parade route.

Nobody was injured and police do not believe the incident was targeted. The driver traveled about half of a block before he was stopped by officers.

Police identified the driver as 42-year-old John Kotun. After speaking with the Kotun, police learned he lives on 200 East and did not want to park and walk to get home.

Police say at around 10:15 a.m., Kotun approached police near 100 E. 200 S. and asked if he could go around the road closure to go home. The road had previously been secured for the parade route and no traffic was allowed to pass.

Police suggested he park his car and walk home and Kotun left the area.

Later, officers report they saw Kotun again trying to get around a barrier and warned him to leave. He left the area again.

Then, an officer saw that Kotun had successfully gotten through an opening in the barriers and was driving slowly along the parade route.

"Our officers immediately ran over and started waving down the driver as he remained traveling at slow speeds," officials stated in a release.

When an officer approached the vehicle, Kotun began to accelerate, police said. At that point, "due to potential danger," officers opened the door, put the vehicle in park and pulled Kotun out of the car.

Police said Kotun continued to emphasize that he was just trying to get home to his nearby residence.

"While speaking to officers, the man acknowledged he should not have driven onto the parade route," SLCPD stated in a release about the incident.

Officers cited and released Kotun with one count of Failing to Obey a Traffic Control Device and one count of Unlawfully Driving Left of Center.