Joyriding 10-year-old leads police on chase

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX – A 10-year-old behind the wheel of an SUV led police on a chase that ended in South Phoenix Thursday evening.

According to police, the boy’s 12-year-old friend was in the front passenger seat and his 5-year-old brother was in the back seat. Police believe the SUV he was driving belongs to his mother.

Investigators said the 10-year-old hit several parked cars as he drove through the neighborhood near 15th Avenue and Broadway Road in South Phoenix.

Officers started following the red SUV when they noticed it swerving. They’re not sure if they scared the young driver, but he crashed the SUV in a front yard. There were several children playing outside in the area at the time.

“It could have been a big tragedy,” said Sgt, Mark Humbles of the Phoenix Police Department. “We’re actually very lucky it ended the way it did.”

While nobody was hit, one man who was sitting in his front yard was injured by flying glass and debris. He was taken to a local hospital.

In addition, the 12-year-old passenger was treated for cuts on his hand.

Police believe the boy was just on a joyride. 3TV’s Jared Dillingham tried to talk to the boy, but his family would not allow it. Dillingham said the boy looked dazed, confused and scared. He was, however, cooperating with police and Maricopa County sheriff's deputies.

Neighbors are stunned by the incident.

“It was wrong for that little boy to jump in there, thinking he knows how to drive,” said Thomas Martinez, who heard the brakes squealing just before the SUV crashed.

“There’s a 10-year-old doing this. I can’t believe that,” said Lydia Maldonado, who lives in the area. “There are no words.”

It’s not yet clear what kind of punishment the 10-year-old might face or if his parents could be held accountable for his actions.