BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - An 11-year-old has been arrested after allegedly stealing a school bus and taking it for a joyride.
Police say the young boy took the bus from Progress Head Start in the 300 block of Elmer Street. The Baton Rouge Police Department says the bus belongs to a private owner who subcontracts with Head Start. A spokesperson for BRPD says they believe the bus is a push to start.
Joy Gradney videoed the chase on her cell phone. She says she was not expecting such a young person to zoom past her.
“As he got closer and closer and closer, I saw it’s a little boy in there and he was laughing. He was like giggling on the way across Florida as he goes right past me. I’m like I can’t believe it’s a little boy,” said Gradney.
The juvenile was handcuffed after being taken off the bus. BRPD says the bus was stopped around 1700 Greenwell Springs Road when it crashed into a tree in Libby Smith’s front yard.
“I’m thinking what in the world is going on and my first thought is that it was a lot of kids on the bus. Thank goodness he was okay he was safe, but it was not your typical Sunday afternoon occurrence for sure. So, we’re blessed that it didn’t do any more damage than it did,” said Smith.
BRPD has charged the 11-year-old juvenile with theft of a motor vehicle, aggravated flight, three counts of aggravated damage to property, and aggravated assault.
One witness said the bus and the line of pursuing police cars passed him along Government Street in Baton Rouge Sunday morning.
A BRPD spokesman said the chase began around 10:45 a.m. and has crossed multiple portions of the city Scenic Highway, Airline Highway and Greenwell Springs Road.
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