September 3, 2002 at 1:03 PM EST - Updated July 1 at 8:25 AM
AKRON, Ohio (AP) - An 8-year-old foster child in pajamas stole a pickup truck and went on a 20-mile drive to visit his family, police said.
The boy, whose name was withheld, was finally stopped by an Akron driver, Debbie Turner, who could barely see the youngster over the dashboard. She flashed her headlights and pursued him at up to 80 mph to get him to stop.
"At first, I thought it was a drunk driver, and as I got closer, I said, 'Either it's a midget or I'm crazy and that's a little boy,'" Turner said after Sunday night's citizen traffic stop.
Turner said she got the boy to slow down by positioning her car in front of the pickup.
The boy told his aunt that he missed his family and wanted to leave his foster home in Twinsburg.
"I didn't know if I should laugh or cry, so I did both," said the aunt, Christina Hornbeck, 29.
The boy apparently stole the pickup, which had the keys inside, from a lot at the Chrysler Corp. plant in Twinsburg.
Police Capt. Paul Calvaruso said the boy, who was taken to the foster-care agency, would not be charged.
"It's amazing how lucky that boy was. And from what we see now, it's all true," he said.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)