The father of a 9-year-old boy who managed to fly from Minnesota to Las Vegas without a ticket is speaking out and asking for parenting help. He has not been named, in order to protect his son's privacy as a minor, but says his son "is no angel" and has been in trouble before.
"My son had taken the trash out and hasn't been back to the house," the father told WCCO News. "We're not bad parents. We didn't think nothing of it. We thought he was at a friend's house."
After calling the police to report the boy missing, the father learned he had stowed away on the flight to Las Vegas and was on his way back home to Minnesota.
"I don't understand," he said. "You got so much security check at these airports. How can you let a 9-year-old sneak past security and get on a plane without anyone stopping him, questioning him, or anything? I don't have an angel. To me, he's got a behavioral problem."
Earlier this month, the boy was accused of commandeering a delivery truck in Minneapolis and driving it through the town before crashing into parked cars and two trees. The truck eventually stopped after hitting a police car.
"I just thank the Lord nobody got hurt and he didn't get hurt," the father said. "But what the officer told me is they were about to taze him or shoot him until they found out he was a 9-year-old. I don't know what to do," he added. "I love my son; I'm not giving up on my son."
The boy is too young to be charged with a crime for boarding the flight illegally, but he is being returned to his parents and will hopefully receive the help he needs. The father said he has been asking multiple agencies for help since the boy was 5-years-old. Now, reportedly, he is going to be getting help from VJ Smith and Mad Dads.
Mad Dads is an acronym for Men Against Destruction, Defending Against Drugs and Social Disorder.