We’ve all been there. Okay, not all of us, but a lot of young men have, at some point in elementary school, expressed their opinions about supercars, i.e. which ones they like and which ones they plan to own some day. But one boy in Utah was more determined than most to make his dream of owning a Lamborghini come true.
The driver of the SUV swerved on the freeway at about 32 miles per hour when a trooper for the Utah Highway Patrol spotted and pulled him over.
The trooper could not see a head above the seat’s headrest, and thought the driver might have been impaired.
But when he approached the driver’s side window on Monday, the trooper was surprised by what he saw: a young boy wearing a gray Utah Royals soccer hoodie.
“You’re 5 years old. Wow!” the trooper, Rick Morgan, said in the dash camera video of the traffic stop. He then asked him, “OK, where did you learn how to drive a car?”
The five year old, who turns six next month, was pretty big for his age. He explained to the officer that he’d had a fight with his mother. She refused to buy him a Lamborghini, so he decided he would take the family car and drive out to California where his sister lived. He took the key from a hook where it was kept, somehow started the car and drove to the freeway.
Somehow, despite having never driven before, he made it about two miles from home before a cop saw him swerving and pulled him over. The surprised officer noted that the boy, whose name hasn’t been released because of his age, had a wallet on him with $3 in it. Maybe he was counting on his sister to chip in the rest for the Lambo.
The photo below shows the boy talking to an officer. His face has been blurred in a way that makes it look like there’s a hole in his face which is disturbing, but they’re just trying to protect his identity.
His story is that he left home after an argument with Mom, in which she told him she would not buy him a Lamborghini. He decided he'd take the car and go to California to buy one himself. He might have been short on the purchase amount, as he only had $3 dollars in his wallet.
— Utah Highway Patrol (@UTHighwayPatrol) May 4, 2020
This local news report says the police are still gathering information and haven’t decided if the boy, his parents or both will face charges:
It’s unclear if the parents would be charged alone, or with their son. It’s also unclear if the boy would alone face any charges. UHP says all they are still working the case before announcing any charges.
I don’t see the point in charging a five-year-old for something like this, at least not with an eye toward punishment. I guess a case could be made for some kind of court-ordered monitoring to make sure he doesn’t engage in any risky behavior like this again in the near future. It’s a miracle he didn’t crash the car and seriously injure himself or someone else.
I guess the parents could be charged with some sort of negligence but in my view they didn’t do anything wrong. Many families leave the car keys somewhere by the front door but no parent I’ve ever heard of is worried that a five-year-old might take them and go for a joy ride. Threaten to run away from home on a bicycle? A kid might do that. Actually drive the car toward California on the freeway? Not something many parents would be worried about. All that to say, if the story we’ve heard so far is accurate, I hope the police go easy on the parents. They must be as shocked as the officer was.
Here’s the dashcam video of the traffic stop. The first part of this has no external audio so you can’t hear what the officer is saying but he returns to the car and turns on the external microphones. It’s noisy because of the traffic but you can hear part of his conversation with the boy.
Finally, here’s a CBS News report on the incident: