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Two Boarded Planes Without Ticket & 90MPH Police Chase


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US airport security puzzled, 9 year old in a flight of fancy

Friday, January 19, 2007 09:51 IST


LAKEWOOD (Washington): A nine-year-old boy could face federal charges, officials said on Thursday, after a cross-country odyssey that saw him board two planes without a ticket before touching down in Texas.


Samaj Booker is being held at a juvenile center in San Antonio after a bizarre journey that has exposed airport security standards and left red-faced US airlines scratching their heads.


The drama began on Sunday when police in Lakewood, just outside Seattle, gave chase to a stolen vehicle, reaching speeds of up to 90-miles per hour before the car finally came to a stop with engine problems.


But officers were astonished to discover that the driver was nine-year-old Booker. "He didn't drive badly at all and was even able to avoid stop-sticks at one point," designed to deflate tires when thrown in front of a vehicle, told Lieutenant David Guttu of Lakewood police.


Booker was returned to his mother but she reported him missing as a runaway the following morning.


Booker made his way to Seattle Tacoma Airport where the 4ft 9in, 80lb youngster then persuaded agents with Southwest Airlines to allow him to board a flight to Phoenix. According to a statement released from Southwest Airlines, Booker presented himself as a 12-year-old at the ticket counter, requested a boarding pass saying his mother was already in the boarding area.


His information matched a paid, ticket-less reservation for the flight and the boy was issued a boarding pass.


The flight originating in Seattle landed in Phoenix where Booker was allowed to change planes and land in San Antonio.


When he attempted to board another plane to get to Dallas it was determined his information didn't match a reservation and police were called.


Guttu says the nine-year-old was "pretty dedicated, highly motivated and focused" to get out of Washington state and back to Dallas where family members including his maternal grandfather live.


His mother told police he wasn't happy in Washington and "only considered Dallas his home" and wanted to go home. He had lived in Lakewood for only a couple of months.


Family from Dallas is scheduled to pick up the boy from the San Antonio juvenile centre where he is being held. Meanwhile prosecutors in Washington State are gathering information to determine how they will proceed.


Booker may eventually be served with a summons and a court date to answer federal charges of eluding police, stealing a vehicle and driving without a licence.



So what happened to "tightening airport security"?

Edited by metadigital
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recruit the kid into some kind of national service I say.. if he's capable talking/bluffing his way into boarding 2 planes and then drive away in a stolen vehicle at age 9 - he's gonna be a true Bond when he grows up..

Fortune favors the bald.

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