Seven-year old Tennessee boy chased by police

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Map highlighting Tennessee

A 7-year old Tennessee boy who was eager to get his driver's license got an early education when he decided to take his parents pick-up truck for a joyride.

The boy, whose name was not released, remembered to wear his seatbelt and even used his turn signal when he was supposed to.

Police chasing the boy initially thought they were chasing a drunk driver. "He was weaving all over the road. He couldn't stay in his lane," Officer Josh Laverette said.

But when the truck came to a stop in front of a house, police saw that it was a boy, a second grader, barely 4 feet tall, behind the wheel. "He was so short he had to sit up close to the steering wheel," Laverette said. "Whenever he would brake, he would pick himself up with his left foot and stomp on the brake with his right."

The boy had barely avoided several collisions, authorities said.

When police began to talk to the boy, who managed to park in front of his own home, "He said the reason he took the vehicle was because he wanted to get his license," said Laverette.

"There were like probably five city cars and three county cars and a state trooper" all of which were chasing the pickup, said Susan Daniel, a witness to the incident. "It blew my mind because we actually watched him put on his turn signal and turn, and we could see when he went past that he had seat belts on," Daniel said. "Then to come find out it was a child, I was really shocked."

The boy was charged with driving without a license, eluding police and leaving the scene of an accident. He is expected to appear in juvenile court next week.