The last thing police officers were expecting when they pulled over a speeding car was to see a 10-year-old child behind the wheel. But when they found out what he was up to, they were floored.
Officers in Fostoria, Ohio, said that they first spotted the car early in the morning with its headlights off and braking constantly, reports KTRK. They attempted to pull the car over when the driver took off, leading the officers on a high-speed chase at 70 miles per hour. Still, the young driver did not stop.
"[The car] almost lost control, almost made a head-on with a semi-tractor trailer," Fostoria Police Chief Keith Loreno said, according to KTRK. "And then, actually hit the curb, causing some damage to the tire and rim, so the car became inoperable."
At that point, the vehicle stopped outside a restaurant. That's when officers approached the car and realized who they were dealing with: a 10-year-old who just wanted to buy soda.
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The boy told officers that he had taken his parents car, unbeknownst to them, and had driven it 11 miles into town to a Circle K so that he could purchase a Coke.
The boy's parents are not set to face any charges related to the incident, although child protective services are investigating them. Their son, however, has been charged as a juvenile with fleeing from a law enforcement officer.
Officer Loreno urged parents to take this story as a cautionary tale that can keep their kids out of trouble.
"Children have a natural curiosity, I don't care how old they are," Loreno said. "They're going to get into things...it's no different than putting the cigarette lighter away or the matches. Put [your keys] in a different spot and put some protections in there."
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The Tennessee Fire Marshal recommends keeping potentially hazardous items like lighters -- and yes, car keys -- in a locked drawer or cabinet, high out of the reach of children, according to the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.