GRAND ISLAND - A 9-year-old boy stole a stranger’s car Sunday night, crashed it into a front porch about 2 miles away, then spat on a Grand Island police officer and spewed racial slurs at him, police said.
The boy, who is not being identified by authorities because he is a juvenile, was given a ticket and released to his parents. The Nebraska juvenile court system has jurisdiction only over children age 11 and older, according to state law.
Grand Island Police Capt. Jim Duering said Monday that in his 22 years with the department, he has not seen someone so young “with this level of hostility and seriousness of offenses.”
Duering said the series of events started about 10:30 p.m. Sunday when police responded to a call about suspicious activity — the boy riding his bike in the middle of the street. Officers told him to stop, but the boy sped off on his bike.
Officers followed the boy but lost sight of him. One officer found an abandoned bike near 10th and Eddy Streets, where a resident told the officer that the boy had stolen his 2007 Honda Civic. The car was unlocked and had the keys inside.
Authorities spotted the car, which Duering said wasn’t going very fast, and tried to safely corral it. But the boy crashed the car into the front porch of a home near Ashton Avenue and Oak Street — about 2 miles from where he had abandoned the bike.
The boy then locked himself inside the car. Officers had to break a window to get him out.
“It went downhill from there,” Duering said.
The boy was not cooperative and began to yell racial slurs at a Hispanic officer. The boy, who is white, also spat on the same officer, Duering said.
Officers found a folding knife in the boy’s possession. They took him to a juvenile holding room, but probation officers said they couldn’t get involved with a juvenile younger than 11, Duering said. The boy was released to his parents, who live in Grand Island.
“This one’s pretty concerning and a little out of the ordinary,” Duering said. “Hopefully, we can get some services introduced and get this young man back on the right road.”