A seven-year-old pyjama-clad boy drove his stepfather’s car for 20 miles, sometimes hitting speeds of 50mph, before being stopped by police in Michigan.
Huron County prosecutor Tim Rutkowski said he had charged the boy with unlawful use of a vehicle “strictly” to get him and his family assistance such as counselling and said he would not seek to have him removed from his home.
“What is it in this child’s life that’s stressing him that he leaves in a vehicle? What we don’t want is to let this happen again,” Mr Rutkowski said. “There’s something going on in his life.”
The boy told authorities that he drove off in his stepfather’s car on Monday to see his father, who also lives in Huron County, 110 miles north of Detroit. The boy reached speeds of at least 50mph before police caught up with him. He stopped the car on a rural road where the speed limit was 55mph.
“He was crying and just kept saying he wanted to go to his dad’s,” Caseville police chief Jamie Learman said. “That was pretty much it. He just wanted to go to his dad’s.”