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8-Year-Old Florida Boy Drives to School

Sat Apr 13, 8:22 AM ET

TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla. (Reuters) - An 8-year-old Florida boy drove himself to school in a stolen car after missing the school bus, police said this week.

The youngster was caught when schoolmates told a teacher they had seen him park the car in the faculty lot at Riverhills Elementary School in Temple Terrace, a city northeast of Tampa.

The boy, who could barely see above the dashboard, had crossed at least one busy four-lane intersection on the 1.5-mile route from his home to the school.

He was suspended from school for up to 10 days for endangering himself and others, but was not arrested because police did not see him driving the car.

The boy said his uncle had been giving him driving lessons since last week in the car, a 2002 Ford Focus that had been reported stolen, police said Friday. The car theft was still under investigation.

Police said neither the boy nor his mother knew the car was stolen, and that the mother was not arrested because there were no signs of neglect at home.

"He wanted to show it off to his friends I guess," said Temple Terrace Police Capt. Tracy Mishler. "He made it (to school) right on time but he bragged about it and that's why he got caught."

The boy's uncle, Darrick Wilford, was arrested on Tuesday on an unrelated vehicle theft charge.

-- (, April 13, 2002


Ya know....I saw this in the papaer and thought the same thing.

That Unk.......

-- Deano (, April 14, 2002.

Guess he hasn't answered yet because he's still in jail.

-- Send mo money (for @ Unk's. bail), April 15, 2002.

Nah, I teach my delinquent nephews to drive in stolen SUVs, not a stinkin Focus.

-- Uncle Deedah (, April 15, 2002.

LOL Unkie! Nice to see ya!

-- Aunt Bee (, April 15, 2002.

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