11-year-old steals bus, leads police in half hour chase before crashing

by Peter Heck · Oct 15th, 2020 8:49 am

Last Updated Oct 20th, 2020 at 9:02 am

An 11-year-old Baton Rouge boy stole an unlocked bus on Sunday, taking it on a joyride around town and leading police on a long chase before eventually crashing the bus into a tree.

Police reports indicate that the boy accessed the unlocked bus early Sunday morning. The vehicle had a push-button ignition that did not require a key. The boy was not tall enough to sit in the driver's seat, so he improvised by driving while standing in order to reach the pedals.

At one point during the chase, police attempted to use spike strips to blow the bus's tires, but the boy saw the trap and swerved the bus to miss them. He also reportedly reached his hand out the window at one point and extended his middle finger in the direction of officers.

After nearly a half hour pursuit, the boy crashed the bus into a tree. He cooperated with police, who placed him in handcuffs outside the damaged vehicle.

The bus had been used for the Progress Head Start preschool, but was stolen from private property. It was not owned by the school and instead belonged to a former driver for the school who is no longer living.

It is not clear why the bus was unlocked or what penalty the boy may be facing.


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