It’s the unusual preternatural cunning that this 9-year-old boy possesses that makes this story so interesting – that and the mockery he made of airport security. Just two weeks ago the young lad was arrested in Minnesota for stealing a 30-foot refrigerated delivery truck and crashing into a police car (his little road trip took him through downtown Minneapolis and down a major interstate highway). Then last week, he managed to evade airport security and gate agents to board a Delta plane to Las Vegas.
The boy, who is obviously very intelligent, first conducted a detailed reconnaissance at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on a trip that involved taking a piece of luggage from the carousel then ditching it at an airport restaurant (where he dined on a meal and under the pretext of going to the restroom, left the restaurant without paying). The boy returned to the airport the next day via a light-rail train and managed to pass through the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) checkpoint (Terminal 1 for those who have the need), undetected, by “blending in with a family with children”. Pat Hogan, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Airports Commission, noted:
“I’ve worked at the airport for 13 years, and we have more than 33 million people go through the terminal every year, and I’ve never heard of anything like this happening before.”
After being unwittingly granted access to nine different airlines within the secured terminal, the boy then made his way to the gate of a Las Vegas flight where he is seen on surveillance video chatting with a Delta gate agent. When the agent turned her head, the boy quickly darted down the jetway and onto the plane.
“The boy waited until the person who was at the gate was busy, and that’s when he got on the plane.”
As for the parents…
“My son had taken the trash out and hasn’t been back to the house.” the father said before blaming airport security for the problem. He complained to airport officials:
“I don’t understand. You got so much security check at these airports, how can you let a 9-year-old sneak past security and get on a plane without anyone stopping him, questioning him, or anything!”
After boarding the plane, the young lad grabbed an empty seat. It wasn’t until after takeoff that flight attendants noticed his name was not on the flight manifest as an “unaccompanied minor” and began to question him. When asked where his parents were, the wily youth thumbed towards the rear of the plane and told attendants his parents were sitting in the back. When that story didn’t pan out, the boy told attendants that his father had missed the plane. He then ran out of stories and was detained.
When Las Vegas police met the boy upon landing he calmly told them that he had a “video game buddy” who lived in the city who he was there to visit. Reports indicate that the boy then became ‘violent’ and was hospitalized in Las Vegas, where hospital staff reported he was “uncontrollable” at first but “eventually calmed down”.
Sources told Minneapolis Star Tribune that the boy’s escapades were well-known in the county but thus far, they are unable to find a solution:
“Of county interactions with the child, typically, staff can tell if a child is lying, but with this child, they are unsure…”
Not surprisingly, sources told NBC News that “the boy has behavioral problems and was recently suspended from school” before adding,
“He’s got issues [and] his family wants people to know that he’s a bright kid. They love their son, they believe in him. … And they’re good parents.”
The boy is expected to return to his family this week after being in protective custody in Nevada the past five days.