Teen takes dad's company car, leads Miami-Dade police on short chase
Eighth grader behaves badly on Florida Turnpike
MIAMI-DADE, Fla. – Teenage boys get mad at their dads all the time. But one vengeful teen took his dad's car keys and lead police on a short chase in Southwest Miami-Dade Friday.
On social media, the eighth-grader claims to be a G. Holmes Braddock High School student. But he is not. The Miami Heat fan also shares social media posts about marijuana and rap.
And he has a Twitter account with the name "F--- the Cops 911." In April, he complained that his dad had taken away his phone. And on Friday, police said, he took his dad's marked company van.
"He was angry. He was speeding. He ran a red light," Miami-Dade police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta said. "A detective in an unmarked car saw him."
The eighth-grader got into the Florida Turnpike at Southwest 184 Street. The detective turned on his red and blue lights to signal the driver to stop.The 14-year-old did not. Instead, he left his foot on the accelerator.
The detective called for back-up. At least half a dozen Miami-Dade police officers responded.
According to law enforcement experts 25 percent of suspects manage to outrun police. But that would not happen in this case. The teen got off the Florida Turnpike at Southwest 144 Street.
"He stopped ... officers noticed he was a teen," Zavaleta said. "Teens are not arrested for traffic offenses."
He wasn't armed. Officers notified his parents and cited him for reckless driving, a traffic misdemeanor in Florida. And there were no injuries during the four-mile chase, police said.
Why wasn't he arrested?
Florida's juvenile justice system places an emphasis on rehabilitation.
Defense attorney Julia Kefalinos, a former assistant public defender, said a teenage reckless driving offense ends up in traffic court. He will probably be placed on probation, or be given some community hours, she said.
"But he is not going to go to jail for this," Kefalinos said.
Kefalinos, who spent several years in juvenile court, said that the boy's parents still have a choice to ask the State Attorney's Office to charge him with grand-theft.
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