In Springfield, Missouri, a 17-year-old boy (whose identity has been withheld) demonstrated the unfortunate result of combining too much Grand Theft Auto with an overexposure to Eminem music (and I use the term “music” very, very loosely). Officers initially stopped the 17-year-old on Monday afternoon after observing him driving erratically, and shortly after completing the traffic stop, the officers received reports of shots fired in the neighboring vicinity. The chief suspect in the shooting was believed to be the same 17-year-old with whom they had just made contact, driving what was then determined to be a stolen vehicle. Responding promptly, the officers proceeded to arrest both the 17-year-old and his passenger.
While the passenger was placed in a second officer’s patrol car, the 17-year-old was escorted to the front seat of the unmarked police cruiser that initially pulled him over. After securing the suspect and returning to assist in searching the stolen vehicle, the unsupervised 17-year-old managed to maneuver his shackled hands in front of his person, slide over into the drivers seat, and commandeer the cruiser.
Smart enough to only flee a couple hundred yards, the teen ditched the cruiser 2 blocks later, fleeing the scene on foot and seeking refuge in the rafters of a nearby storage shed. Officers were eventually able to take the young man into custody once again, and immediately transported him to the local hospital for treatment of cuts on his hands. From the hospital, the teen was then taken to the Greene County Jail where he could be charged with multiple weapons and assault charges. Although at 17 the young man is technically considered a minor, the severity of his crimes and Missouri’s own laws governing the age of consent order that he will answer for his crimes as an adult. Said Lt. Kevin Grizzell of the Springfield Police Department, “He’s 17 years old but he’s legal, so he’s in trouble.”