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Michigan 7-year-old takes car on 20-mile ride

By Chris Boyette, CNN
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7-year-old takes car to visit his dad
  • 911 caller reports "kid flying down the road with a red Pontiac Sunbird"
  • Boy takes stepfather's car, heads for dad's home miles away, police say
  • No charges filed against boy as officials check family situation

(CNN) -- A 7-year old Michigan boy took a 20-mile drive in his stepfather's car, ending in a high-speed chase with local law enforcement, according to the Huron County Sheriff's office.

Around 10 a.m. Monday, 911 dispatchers received multiple calls reporting what appeared to be a young child driving a red Pontiac across town.

"Uh, yes, I'm on Kinde Road outside of Caseville, and believe it or not, I just passed about a 5-, 6-year-old kid flying down the road with a red Pontiac Sunbird," one caller told the dispatcher as he tried to follow the speeding car. Eventually, the caller lost sight of the boy.

According to Huron County Sheriff Kelly J. Hanson, the car was seen again minutes later in Caseville by another man who called 911. It was racing past a Dairy Queen restaurant.

Based on details provided by 911 dispatchers, Huron County Sheriff's Deputy Randy Britt and Caseville Police Chief Jamie Learman began searching for the car.

Hanson said Britt and Learman caught up to the young driver and attempted to stop the car, which officials said was driven as fast as 50 mph. The boy appeared to have difficulty pulling over and footage from Britt's dashboard camera shows the officers eventually had to box the car in to slow it down.

According to Hanson, though stopped, the car was still running and in gear. The boy was upset, he said, and couldn't unlock the car door. Finally, officers were able to calm the child and get the door open. Britt put the vehicle in park.

"It was learned that the child had left his residence in his stepfather's vehicle, which is in the Sheridan Township area. He was heading for his father's residence in the Filion area," said Hanson. "Deputy Britt called the child's mother and got her voicemail. She quickly returned the call and was unaware that her son was missing. Apparently, she had worked a night shift and had left instructions with the boy to be awakened at 10:00 a.m."

A deputy brought the mother to the car and her frightened son, where deputies arranged for them to go to the county Department of Human Services.

"We're waiting to hear back from DHS to see how to proceed if we need to, if there is any trouble in the home, any neglect," Hanson said. "We won't release the parents' names until DHS has decided what to do, so we don't interfere with possible court proceedings."

No charges have been filed against the boy or his mother. According to Timothy J. Rutkowski, prosecuting attorney for the Huron County Prosecutor's Office, "We're still in the process of looking over the report."