9 year-old Stowaway on Flight Removed From Home


A nine-year-old boy from Minnesota who stowed away on a flight to Las Vegas will not be allowed to go home for an indeterminate period of time. The child, who managed to outwit airport security and board the flight before anyone realized anything was amiss, is too young to be charged with a crime under state law. However, a juvenile judge has granted a petition filed by Hennepin County to remove the boy from his parents’ home.

The boy’s family did not object to the order, which was designed to provide support for the family and help break a months-long pattern of acting out by the boy. The parents as well as the boy are ordered to participate in therapy, but will be allowed liberal visitation.

According to the petition, the act of boarding the flight was only the latest example in a troubling pattern of escalating behavior. The proceedings painted a picture of a child who was difficult to control. Earlier this year, he received a suspension for what the school called aggressive behavior. The boy has a pattern of leaving his home without permission and sleeping over with friends without his parents’ OK. On one occasion, he left to go to the library and did not go home all night, turning up in a local park a day later. On another, he went swimming without supervision at a YMCA at closing time.

In an episode that may have presaged the flight incident, the child, who is not being named, was able to get into an amusement park without a ticket by behaving as though he was a part of another family. He is also accused of stealing a delivery truck and hitting both a pole and a patrol car and of stealing luggage to make himself look as though he were traveling before ordering a meal at the airport and leaving the bill unpaid.


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