Boy, 9, charged after leading police on car chase
Richard Essex/Eyewitness News
Hancock County - Police in Hancock County thought they were chasing a drunk driver Sunday night. The car they were chasing went over the median a few times and almost hit a police car before going into a ditch. It turns out the that driver wasn't drunk. He was just nine years old.
Police say the boy drove his parents' car along US 40 from Greenfield all the way to Knightstown -nearly 15 miles.
The chase was captured on police dashboard cameras. At times it hit speeds of 80 miles an hour. The boy swerved from side to side and even into oncoming traffic twice. Police say it was fortunate that no one was injured or worse.
"We have never had kid like this here," said Wayne Addison. He is in charge of the probation office for Hancock county. Eventually the nine-year-old will be assigned to his office.
Addison's job is to help the parents and the child find counseling.
"That is realistically what we are gonna be looking at - is what is in this kid's best interest, what does he need to make sure something like this doesn't happen again," Addison said.
Video shows the Greenfield nine-year-old crossing over the median twice and almost hitting a police car.
"It was just a blessing that nobody got injured, nobody got killed from that because he got up to speeds close to about 70, 75, 80 miles an hour at one point," said Major Derek Towle, Greenfield Police Department.
Police thought they were chasing an adult drunk driver. The video captures the car weaving from side to side.
"Now I understand why he came out as a drunk driver - 'cause he couldn't touch the steering wheel and touch the gas pedal very easily at that age," said Towle. "He posed a serious threat to a lot of people."
For 20 minutes covering 15 miles, police chase the car down US 40 towards Knightstown, it ended shortly after the car hit stop sticks, flattening one tire and eventually the car ended up in a ditch.
Police found the boy hiding in the back of the car on the floorboard. He finally admitted to taking his mother's car keys, her cell phone and one dollar from her purse, which was in his parents' bedroom.
"This is a situation were we are going to remember his name, if it comes back up with other things. But right now are looking at a nine-year-old kid. This is the first time we have had anything. Obviously we normally don't get them this young," said Addison.
The boy has been charged with fleeing from law enforcement. His next step will be meeting with his probation officer. Police say the boy was angry at his parents for making him come inside and get ready for bed.
Parents around Greenfield were reacting Monday to the boy's tale and his impending punishment.
"That would get more than a grounding in my house that would be losing all kinds of privileges, just about everything," said Brandy Alexander.
"Yeah, definitely a grounding," said Tom Parish.
Several police agencies were involved in the chase. They all say it's a miracle no one was hurt.