Child protection sought for Minneapolis-Vegas stowaway - KMSP-TV

VEGAS STOWAWAY: Child protection petition filed for Minneapolis boy

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A Child in Need of Protection or Services (CHIPS) petition was filed in Hennepin County Juvenile Court on Friday in the case of the 9-year-old Minneapolis boy who boarded a flight to Las Vegas.

The petition, which details much of the known facts in the case, initiates the juvenile court proceedings. A court hearing must be held after the boy returns to Minneapolis, which a source told FOX 9 is expected to be Saturday.


OCT. 4: Hennepin County Child Protection opened an investigation after the 9-year-old took a flight from Minneapolis to Las Vegas on Oct. 3. The boy has a history of running away from home and had previously been reported as a runaway. Las Vegas police turned the boy over to child protection and he was initially placed in a shelter, but "engaged in aggressive behaviors requiring hospital hold." He was later transferred to a residential facility in Las Vegas.

OCT. 2: Minneapolis airport police were called to check on an unattended bag at a restaurant near one of the security checkpoints. The restaurant manager said the boy sat down with the bag and ordered food, then left the bag to go to the bathroom. Police were notified after staff checked the bathrooms and couldn't find the boy. It appears the boy took the bag from a luggage carousel and brought it with him to the restaurant.

OCT. 1: The 9-year-old boy stole a large delivery truck in downtown Minneapolis. He drove on Interstate 35W to south Minneapolis and Edina, damaging other vehicles. He was uncooperative with police when caught, but was released to his parents.

SEPT. 18: The boy was placed on a police hold after he was found at the Midtown YWCA, swimming in the pool at closing time. Police were called when he refused to give his parents' names or provide any information to YWCA staff. In an interview with child protection, the boy's mother said he disappeared on a trip to Target in downtown Minneapolis, where she alerted store security. Video footage confirmed the story, and the case was closed.

AUG. 3: The boy left home to go to the library, but hadn't returned by the next morning. His mother called police at 1:30 p.m., but she found him at a nearby park a few minutes later.

According to the child protection petition, the boy's parents have no criminal history.

The boy's mother said her son has behavioral issues, and had been suspended from school for aggressive behavior. She said he had been seeing a therapist, but it appears their last session was on Aug. 13.

The mother said the boy started not coming home during the summer and would leave the house when upset, usually going to a park or a friend's house. In July, he had gone missing for two to three days.


According to the Las Vegas police report, obtained by FOX 9 News, the boy said he often runs away. In this case, he admitted taking a light rail train to Mall of America, but decided to stop at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to walk around.

The boy told police he found a boarding pass on the ground, picked it up and then walked toward a security checkpoint -- but an airport spokesman said security video contradicts that story because there is no paper in his hands.

The next part of the boy's story does coincide with the footage. The 9-year-old told police he "saw a family that looked like me" and walked behind them so it would look like he was part of the family.

Shortly after he disembarked from the Delta flight in Las Vegas after flight attendants discovered he had no ticket or unattended minor paperwork, his story changed. The boy told police he was on the plane with his father but the flight was full and they asked his dad to leave, adding that his father said he would meet him in Las Vegas. Delta officials previously confirmed the flight was not full.

In reality, the boy's parents -- who live off Olson Memorial Highway in Minneapolis -- had no idea where he was despite the dangerous nine-mile joyride the boy took in a stolen delivery truck just two days earlier.

When Las Vegas police asked the boy about what he'd done and he replied, "No one cares about me."

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