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Continued: Hennepin County steps in to help 9-year-old stowaway

  • Article by: ROCHELLE OLSON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: October 11, 2013 - 11:23 PM

On the afternoon of Aug. 3, the boy left home to go to the library. He had not returned by 10 p.m., when his mother went to sleep. She called police at 1:30 p.m. the following day, but found her son at a park a few minutes later. The petition said the mother “declined community-based family assessment services” at the time.

On Sept. 18, the boy was found unsupervised in the Midtown YWCA swimming pool at closing time. When police came, he refused to give his name or reveal who his parents are. He was taken to St. Joseph’s Home for Children, the petition said.

The next day, a child protection investigation was conducted and the boy’s mother reported that he had previously “disappeared” during a trip to the downtown Target store. He was seen on security video leaving the store. Police were called, but the protection case was closed “without a finding of maltreatment,” the petition said.

On Oct. 1, the boy stole a delivery truck in downtown Minneapolis and drove down Interstate 35W toward Edina, damaging other vehicles. The petition said he was “uncooperative with police” when caught, but was returned to his mother.

Last Wednesday, airport police filed a theft report after the child ate a meal at a restaurant, then left without paying. He also left behind a bag he had taken off a luggage carousel, the petition said.

Hennepin County opened a child protection investigation the next day, after his flight to Las Vegas. He’d passed through a TSA security checkpoint and boarded a Delta flight. No one noticed he was an unaccompanied minor without a ticket until the plane was airborne.

Upon arrival in Las Vegas, he was turned over to child protection authorities, but he became “aggressive” and was put into a hospital, then transferred to a residential facility.

Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747 @rochelleolson

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