TIPP CITY — A 9-year-old boy is accused of stealing his grandmother’s car and taking it on a joyride Saturday on Interstate 75 in Miami and Montgomery counties, causing several panicked drivers to call 911.
“I’ve got my 9-year-old sitting beside me and I’m telling you they’re his age,” one driver who was following the white Toyota Camry in Butler Twp. said. “We looked over and he is a kid.”
The female caller told police the boy was driving in and out of an apartment complex on Benchwood Road before eventually getting back onto the highway heading north toward Tipp City.
Officers first responded around 2:45 p.m. Saturday to the grandmother’s house on North Third Street in Tipp City.
“I let my grandson, 9 years old, take my car keys to listen to my phone on the radio,” Tracy King told Miami County dispatchers. “I walked out. My car is gone.”
King said her grandson has been in trouble in juvenile court before. She said since this latest incident her life has been “a real living nightmare.”
“It’s horrible. I thank God nobody was hurt,” King said. “I’m out a car and he’s in a lot of trouble.”
At the same time the grandmother called police, dispatchers in Butler Twp. began receiving multiple calls about the child reportedly driving recklessly.
One caller said the boy blew through two stop signs on Benchwood Road, nearly hitting another vehicle.
“I’m trying to stay back. That way he doesn’t hit me.”
Another caller also described the chaotic moments.
“I mean, he’s driving crazy,” she said. “I don’t know who he is.”
The child eventually crashed the car into two other cars in the area of Main Street and Garber Drive in Tipp City.
The boy was released to his grandmother, but Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers said he could face a list of traffic charges, including grand theft auto in Miami County Juvenile Court.
Troopers said a child that age cannot be sent to juvenile detention for non-violent offenses.