Boy, 9, who took flight to Las Vegas without ticket is removed from family home
By Martha Neil
Oct 16, 2013, 03:20 pm CST
Updated: A juvenile court judge Wednesday ordered an unspecified "out-of-home placement" for a 9-year-old Minnesota boy who recently made it through security at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport and boarded a flight to Las Vegas without a ticket.
Granting a child-protection petition filed by Hennepin County, Minn., which the boy's parents did not oppose, District Judge Joseph Klein also ordered therapy for both the boy and his parents and gave his family liberal visitation, the Associated Press reports.
The case is intended to help the parents of the unidentified child cope with a history of troubling behavior that has been ongoing for months, according to the Star Tribune. The parents have not been accused of mistreating him.
The petition says the boy was suspended from school this year due to "aggressive behavior." He also reportedly has a history of leaving the house when upset and spending the night at friends' homes without permission.
Claimed incidents concerning the boy cited in the petition or news reports include leaving home one day to visit the library and not returning (his mother found him at a park the next day); being found swimming, unsupervised, in a YMCA pool at closing time; and visiting an amusement park without paying by blending in with a visiting family.
Also, according to the petition, a few days before the Las Vegas trip, the boy, who turns 10 in January, stole a refrigerated delivery truck from a Minneapolis-area business, struck a pole in the parking lot with the vehicle and then hit an Edina, Minn., police car about 10 miles away. He is also accused of taking another person's luggage from baggage claim area of the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport and using it as a prop when ordering lunch at an airport restaurant, where he walked out without paying the bill.
Because of his age, he cannot be charged with any crimes.
ABAJournal.com: "Boy, 9, stole truck, hit cop car two days before flight to Las Vegas without ticket, police say"
KMSP: "Child protection hearing for Minneapolis boy who hopped flight to Vegas"
Updated at 4:20 p.m. to include information from Associated Press about judge's ruling at hearing.