Video courtesy of CNN.com and WPBF-TV ABC.
By WILL VASH
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 25, 2008
PALM BEACH GARDENS — A 7-year-old boy took his grandmother's Dodge Durango for a ride Friday and left a path of damage in his wake.
The tike, who police would not identify, grabbed a set of car keys in his grandmother's home and began his nearly eight-minute joy ride on the 300 block of Sandtree Drive, said Palm Beach Gardens police officer Ellen Lovejoy.
"When she came in, she saw the keys were gone," Lovejoy said of the grandmother. "Her car was gone too."
Meanwhile, blocks away, the white SUV struck two mailboxes on Burma Road and continued north.
Police don't know how fast he was going, but it was the sight of the boy's head peeking over the steering wheel that prompted onlookers to call 911, describing the erratic driver as "a small person driving a car," Lovejoy said.
As police were responding to the area, the Durango continued through a crowded Costco parking lot fronting Northlake Boulevard - striking two parked cars without stopping. Then, at the corner of Park Avenue West and Congress Avenue, the young motorist hit two moving vehicles.
The youngster's jaunt abruptly ended a short time later, when the Durango slammed into sign at the corner of Currency Drive and Investment Lane - causing the right front wheel to break off the vehicle.
No one was hurt during the episode. The child was charged with stealing a vehicle and was returned to his family.
Lovejoy said charging the boy with a crime would allow him to receive services for any behavioral problems or other issues he might have. She did not believe the charge would be prosecuted.
"This is unusual behavior for a 7-year-old," Lovejoy said.
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