01/11/2006

7-year-old leads police on vehicle chase

The Associated Press

Boy wanted driver's license, took parents' pickup

SHELBYVILLE, Tennessee (AP) -- Eager to get his driver's license, a 7-year-old boy put on his seat belt and remembered to use his turn signal, as he took his parent's pickup truck out for a spin, leading police on a slow pursuit around town.

Officers initially thought they were chasing a drunk driver.

"He was weaving and all over the road. He couldn't stay in his lane," Officer Josh Laverette said.

What they found instead Monday evening was a barely 4-foot-tall second-grader.

"He was so short he had to sit up close to the steering wheel," Laverette said. "Whenever he would brake, he would pick himself up with his left foot and stomp on the brake with his right."

The boy, whose name was not released, narrowly avoided several collisions. "It could have been very serious," Laverette told WSMV-TV as he reviewed a videotape shot from one of the pursuing police cars.

The seven-mile chase ended when the boy drove home and parked.

"He said the reason he took the vehicle was because he wanted to get his license," Laverette said.

Nine years too early for the license test, the boy was charged with driving without a license, eluding police and leaving the scene of an accident. He faces a hearing this week in juvenile court.

Witness Susan Daniel described the scene: "There were like probably five city cars and three county cars and a state trooper" all chasing the pickup, she said.

"It blew my mind, because we actually watched him put on his turn signal and turn. And we could see when he went past that he had seat belts on," Daniel said. "Then to come find out it was a child, I was really shocked."

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Associated PressCopyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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