Father Of 9-Year-Old Stowaway Speaks Out

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  • MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The father of a 9-year-old boy who evaded security to stow away on a flight from Minneapolis to Las Vegas told reporters Wednesday he’s been frustrated in his efforts to get help for his troubled son.

    The father spoke at a news conference on condition of anonymity to protect his son. Sobbing at times, he said his son had a history of misbehavior but officials had told him they couldn’t help because his son hadn’t done anything bad enough yet.

    “I’m tired of people saying he’s a minor, there’s nothing we can do. There’s something somebody can do,” said the dad, wearing a hoodie and baseball cap pulled low to hide his face.

    The boy took a light-rail train to the airport last Thursday and blended in with a family to get past security, slipped past a gate agent and took an empty seat on the Delta Air Lines flight. The flight crew turned him over to police in Las Vegas, where he was still being held Wednesday.

    The father spoke at the office of MAD DADS, where the community group’s president, V.J. Smith, said county child protection workers told him the boy will be returned to Minnesota and reunited with his family Friday, not kept in custody. Smith added that the county would “wrap some services around the family.”

    The father said this son had been suspended from school for fighting before he slipped away Wednesday by saying he was taking out the trash. He said he and the boy’s mother presumed he then went to a friend’s house. She called police the next day, after he didn’t come home, and learned he had been arrested in Las Vegas.

    “How would you let a 9-year-old child go through a security check without stopping and questioning him? How can that be?” he asked.

    The father confirmed his son was the same 9-year-old who stole a delivery truck in Minneapolis and crashed it into a suburban Edina police squad car two days before stowing away. He choked up as he recalled discussing the incident with an officer who brought the boy home.

    “I asked the officer, ‘Please sir can you go upstairs with me, watch me whup his butt?’ The officer told me, ‘If I see you hit your son we’re going to have to lock you up.’ I said, ‘Sir, what can I do? I’ve been asking for help, but there’s no one that’s helping me.’ I’m in what you call double jeopardy,” he said.

    (Photo: AP)

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    7 thoughts on “Father Of 9-Year-Old Stowaway Speaks Out

    1. There’s no doubt that this kid is brilliant. The critical thinking skills he’s used at the age of 9 is not what we’d expect from a child this age. I would love to see him get involved in mentoring programs through some of our fraternities or civic organizations like 100 Black Men. They can offer some support and examples which he so desperately needs.

    2. If he was anything but a person of color he would be so “cute” & intelligent … He would’ve been interviewed on the Today Show!

      • Enough with the reverse racism. This kid is another Trayvon Martin in the making. How about a little responsibility from the parents? You fools ever consider that?

    3. “The father confirmed his son was the same 9-year-old who stole a delivery truck in Minneapolis and crashed it into a suburban Edina police squad car two days before stowing away.” Yes, a true genius.

      • Because a person doesn’t conform to the way we think they should does not make him or her any less of a genius. Intellect can be used for either good or bad. What makes it either is our own perceptions of good and bad and our values we acquire in our life. When we think of a gifted person or geniuses we automatically want to think of something good they have contributed to society because this is the norm. But when it is not so good we want to think of it as not so genius or bad, Who would have ever thought Dr. Ben Carson would have turned out to be the world’s greatest Neurosurgeon not his teachers, Growing up in a single parent home with dire poverty, poor grades, a horrible temper, and low self-esteem appeared to preclude the realization of that dream until his mother, with only a third-grade education realized her son’s talent. Many Black children are gifted but these gifts go unrecognized because as kids the parents are not educated to recognize their children gifts and are quick to push them aside because they don’t conform or act like them.

        Dr. Ajb.

    4. No doubt if this would have been a 9 year old white boy he would have been labeled extraordinary .Extraordinary people are in fact challenging and misunderstood and grow up doing sometime amusing things in the fields of science and technology. The fact that this child has been using his brain since he was a young boy is a accomplishment many functioning people adults have not reached or just beginning discover the power of one’s intellect . His parents in my opinion should encourage his talents by focusing on more challenging tasks so he is not so bored and not be ashamed of his actions. In ten or twenty years this same person might have solved some of the world’s greatest problems or discovered a cure for cancer.

      Dr. Ajb

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