MILAN, OH (WOIO) - For the second time this month, a 10-year-old Cleveland boy stole his family's car, leading his parent and the highway patrol on a high speed chase.
According to the Cleveland Police Department, the boy left his mother's home on Hadley Road in Cleveland around 9 a.m. The chase ended at mile marker 121 on the Ohio turnpike - more than 50 miles away -- in Erie County.
Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper Richard Reeder told Cleveland 19 that about eight cruisers were involved in the chase.
"In any pursuit you have to weigh the risk versus reward when chasing a vehicle, and knowing that it was a 10-year-old child involved as a driver there's a big unknown there," said Reeder. "One of the troopers made visual contact eye-to-eye contact with the child and motioned for him to pull over, and the child physically shook his head no and continued driving."
Reeder said that troopers followed the boy, and tried to put stop sticks on the highway to disable the vehicle.
"We were able to put them all the way across the road way, the Ohio Turnpike, three lanes. At that point in time, the child swerved to the right and started driving in the ditch," said Reeder.
Reeder said that the boy driving in the ditch slowed the chase down significantly, but before the boy could get back on the highway and speed up again, an OSHP commander made the decision to hit the back of the car, and several other cruisers blocked the car in and stopped the pursuit.
"When we were able to get him out of the car he was very agitated. He kicked one of the troopers in the shin, he then spit in the face of the same trooper," said Reeder.
The boy was taken to the hospital as a precaution, and will spend at least Thursday night in the Erie county juvenile detention center in Sandusky.
Everyone who spoke to Cleveland 19 emphasized how lucky it was no one was seriously injured.
"It's a 10-year-old child, I have a 10-year-old myself and to look at how well this person drove is just amazing and everyone's so lucky that there was nothing tragic that happened," said Reeder.
It was a sentiment echoed by Interstate Towing tow truck operator Thomas Doughty. He responded to the scene Thursday morning, after troopers stopped the car.
"He's lucky he didn't hit nobody or get [hit]. You know, at that speed, you can kill somebody really easy. He's going 100 - somebody could not even see him and somebody could have gotten killed," said Doughty.
Cleveland 19 has obtained 911 calls from the city of Westlake, a city near the beginning of the chase. Below is a transcription of two 911 calls from Thursday morning about the chase.
911: Westlake 911.
Caller: Hi. I'm pretty sure there's a car chase going on between a mom and her son right now on the highway. They're just passing Columbia Rd. exit. The kid's probably going at least 90. He looks maybe 13.
911: OK. We already got a couple of calls on this. Where are you guys at exactly right now?
Caller: I'm headed west. They're headed west. They're like a couple of cars ahead of me.
911: Westlake 911 what is your emergency?
Caller: Yea. I'm on 90 West and it seems to be..well it looks to be a child driving a silver Infinity with I don;t know if it's like her mother or somebody chasing them down in a red SUV.
911: Your on 90?
Caller: Yea. And the kid's like. I don't if it's like a kid that's swerving in and out of traffic, almost ran a couple cars off the road.
This is the second time that the 10-year-old stole a parent's car and led police on a chase. According to the Cleveland police department, he took his mother's car on Oct. 16, also at around 9 a.m..
That time, according to a police report, the boy took his mom's Dodge Charger from the driveway. Officers spotted him several minutes later on I-90 E and West 117th Street.
When he was found by police during the Oct. 16 incident, the car the child was driving had three flat tires.
Police pulled him over without incident, towed the car and took the child home. The child was released to his mother that time.
No word on what charges the boy may face.