LEVITTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police said a 12-year-old boy from Long Island who disappeared in Seaford Saturday, only to turn up six miles away in Levittown, behind the wheel of a flatbed truck, was under arrest.
According to detectives, the 12-year-old who suffers from autism was charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. He allegedly found and entered the unlocked vehicle with the keys left inside at 5 p.m. Saturday, before crashing it into two parked cars on Carnation Road and stopping on the front lawn of 41 Carnation Rd.
The boy was released from police custody on an appearance ticket to his father, and is due in Family Court on Monday, October 17, 2011.
Neighbors were shocked by the damage, and even more so by the sight of the preteen driver. The flatbed ended up on John Kowall’s lawn, along with one of the two crushed cars.
Talking with CBS 2’s Dave Carlin, Kowall could only laugh as he described the scene as “strange.”
His neighbor Richie Choi showed Carlin what remained of both his wife’s and his daughter’s friend’s cars.
“Yeah this is brand new,” Choi lamented.
Property damage aside, neighbors were glad there were no injuries. The child who commandeered the construction truck, likewise, was unharmed.
Neighbors and relatives told police the boy is autistic. When he failed to return from a bike ride Saturday, police issued an alert as the boy’s bizarre adventure was playing out.
“I know the little boy. Seen him riding his bike,” Kevin Velez of Seaford told Carlin. “Thank God he’s alright.”
Police sources told CBS 2 the boy biked six miles from Seaford to Levittown Saturday, and along the way ditched the bike for the truck that reportedly belongs to Arpielle Equipment Center.
CBS 2 also made calls to the company to find out exactly where the truck and the keys were, but has yet to get a response.
Insurance claims have to be filed, and more questions must be answered, but the prevailing emotion in the neighborhood is relief.
“Nobody was hurt. That’s the thing,” Kowall said.
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