CASEVILLE (WWJ/AP) A 7-year-old Michigan boy who drove a car at high speeds for 20 miles has been charged with unlawful use of a vehicle.

Huron County Prosecutor Tim Rutkowski said Wednesday he will not seek to remove the boy from his home. He says he filed the juvenile charge to get the boy and his family some assistance, such as counseling.

Rutkowski said it’s “strictly” to help the boy.

“When we petition a young person into court, it’s not for punishment purposes,” said Rutkowski. “Generally speaking, the general purpose for any juvenile case is to find out what it is that is going on in the young person’s life to make them do whatever they did and how best do we treat that,” Rutkowski told WWJ Newsradio 950.

Still in his pajamas, the boy led police on a 50 mile-an-hour chase before he managed to stop the car, driving nearly 20 miles.

“The young man when he was spoken to by the officers said they wanted to see his father,” said Rutkowski. “He was leaving his residence which I believe is somewhere in Sheridan Township and driving nearly 20 miles over to Caseville, in Caseville Township, which is on the western part of our county.”

It was not clear how the little boy may have acquired his driving skills. Rutkowski said it is also not clear whether the boy’s parents could also face charges.

“It all depends. You know the information that we’ve received, thus far, doesn’t suggest that at this point that it would rise to the level of being criminal in nature, but the investigation still is ongoing,” said Rutkowski.

No one was hurt.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Comments (59)
  1. SerfCityHereWeCome says:

    The sad thing is, he had better driving skills than a lot of people with licenses.

    1. jasperddbgghost says:

      Kinda like drivers that keep pressing the legalization of Marijuana.

      “It’s a safe drug” “I can get high and I’ll be fine when I drive….TRUST ME!”

      /sarc off.


      2. Sue says:

        I doubt that marijuana smokers are driving and smoking at 7 years of age. There are more drunks getting into vehicle accidents than marijuana smokers. Yes I keep pressing the legalization because of people like you and your comments.

      3. Tom Butler says:

        Most people pressing the legalization of Marijuana are not advocating that people drive high. Much like alcohol, just cause its legal doesn’t mean you should drive while under its influence. This is a straw man argument at best and trolling at worst.

      4. al-ozarka says:

        Hmmm, Jasper. Last time I checked, Alcohol was legal to sell and use. How’s THAT working out?

      5. The Guy in Texas says:

        Who says that people want to get high and go driving? If anything, the more you smoke, the less inclined you are to get behind a wheel.

        Did you have a bad experience with someone once? Someone wreck your car when they borrowed it? Kid get high and go see his friends? Marijuana doesn’t wreck cars, people do.

        On that same note, guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

        And liquor doesn’t cause fatal accidents, drunk drivers do.

        Moderation of anything is not inherently bad, it’s when you start making poor choices that can affect those around you in a bad way that you need to start worrying.

        I have friends and family that partake in smoking marijuana. I have yet to see or hear about them doing anything stupid or crazy or dangerous.

  2. DiemC says:

    They need to quit wasting the taxpayers money and the courts time.

    No one got hurt, let it go and erase the charges, Ignorant prosecutor.

    1. Hobo says:

      Wow. Can you read?

      1. pat says:

        The sad thing is the father is probably not allowed to see the boy because of some @#$ing family court judge. Way to go kid!

    2. hebgb says:

      This is probably a case the prosecutor felt he could win and it would boost his standing in the legal community.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why didn’t the kid just wait til his dad came home from work?

    1. Hobo says:

      Idiot. Learn to read.

  4. david says:

    We had to Charge him to help him, Because we have created a class of securitons and have given them power that should not be had without the ability to reason we have set the course of our own demise

  5. JudgeSmails? says:

    The prosecutor reminds me of Judge Smails in Caddyshack, “I’ve sentenced boys younger than you to the gas chamber…didn’t want to do it….felt I owed it to them!”

    1. dam says:

      He’ll get nothing…and like it!

  6. jim says:

    I’m sure the prosecutor will “HELP” this family with a sizeable fine as well.

  7. bogus says:

    My 7 year old is tall for her age, but there is no way she can come close to reaching the pedals and be able to see. Story seems bogus.

    1. Clearhead says:

      You need to ask the ‘gummit’ to buy her a sub compact.

  8. bernard t. jackie says:

    He was sick of living with his custodial mom for some reason so he decided to visit his dad.

  9. Mike Alright says:

    The only reason we have drivers ed is to teach the “weaker” gender how to drive. You know the gender that needs special rights to compete, as they are incapable of doing anything right without government intervention….

  10. bogus says:

    Agree with comments that this family is now going to be in a world of hurt and expense as government ‘officials,’ not servants, clamber over each other to get a piece of the action. They’re going to be like a cat playing with an injured bird for the next several years while the family gets ordered to to anything they demand. Under force of ‘law’ and/or arrest and huge fines. Hopefully the kid will grow up and can look back and laugh at the matter.

  11. Jim Dunham says:

    I don’t know the underlying facts, but I know how much my son wants to be with me even when it is the days he is with his mother. It is moving to me to see how much a boy wants to be with his Dad that he would do such a thing. And at 7 no less. I hope the boy gets plenty of time with his Father and that his Father will make the effort. many so not.

    1. Clearhead says:

      I wish there was a “Like”/”Doslike” selectiion here, Jimmy. I would select “Like” for your comment until I wore out my mouse.

      1. dam says:

        I Doslike [sic] your spelling.

    2. Christian Strama says:

      I know what you’re feeling, Jim. A father and a son can never be separated, despite what some mother’s try to do. I’ve been reunited with my boys after more than a decade and now they know the truth. Perhaps this mother will soften her heart.

      Again, though, this is without knowing all the underlying facts. But the boy’s actions speak volumes.

  12. speedy87 says:

    nascar should give this kid a scholarship

  13. geinora says:

    So far no one has commented the primary problem. This was a heartsick young kid who was trying to find his Dad.

  14. Andrew says:

    The boy’s parents should have been called. That’s it! Come get your boy. Just like the old days. The judge, cop, and DA suck at life.

  15. dam says:

    I wanna go fast!

  16. Paul C. says:

    The heavy hand of government strikes again. The time is quickly approaching when the people are going to strike back, and hard.

  17. Joe Public says:

    Note to IDIOT police… HE IS A MINOR!!!!!!!!! You cannot charge him with anything.All of your anal retentive moves are olny costing the state money they don’t have. Get a life idiots.

    1. riffenberg says:

      Police are too dumb to know that. It’s like they are morons on steroids.Know anyone who likes the police? Would you have a friend who was a cop? The last one I tried to befriend one he told me about how he socked a woman in his custody in the face and dragged her across the floor by her hair. That was the end of that friendship.

      1. Beez says:

        I *am* curious to know what the police SHOULD have done with a 7 year old driver from an obviously troubled home.

  18. Jon says:

    The kid is an American hero!

  19. Frog Prince says:

    “Huron County Prosecutor Tim Rutkowski said Wednesday he filed the juvenile charge to get the boy and his family some assistance, such as counseling.

    Rutkowski said it’s “strictly” to help the boy”

    Yea, that’s it………you arrested a 7 year old child not for publicity, it’s because you care……..


  20. Sailordude says:

    I bet he learned how to drive from Mario, the Turtle, and the Princess!

  21. Guy In Seattle says:

    Kid is lucky he didn’t get tasered and then shot 14 times while the cop screamed, ‘Stop Resisting.” that’s how they do it here in Seattle anyway. The cop would then be exonerated after an internal investigation reveals the officer followed dept. procedure and ‘feared for his safety.’

  22. AAA says:

    He isn’t gettin charged with JACK! He’s 7. There ain’t nothing they can do. Friggin media hype

  23. Mad Max says:

    Somebody’s getting a spanking…

  24. Cop and Dad says:

    “The investigation is ongoing..” Wow.. This jerkwater dept. and prosecutor need to be provided with some real crime to keep them busy I guess since they have nothing better to do than traumatize and obviously already traumatized, sad little boy. Get a life Huron County schmucks. Oh BTW- you’re a national laughingstock now since this story is on the 30 million hit a day Drudge Report.

    1. Bob says:

      So, they would have handled it different in, say, New York City?

  25. par in FL says:

    you idiots would be chanting a different tune had there been a death as a result of the negligence of this BOY’S actions !!!

    1. Martha says:

      How does one ‘chant’ a tune, precisely?

  26. dragnet says:

    This kid doesn’t need “couseling”. He needs his FATHER. A horrendous family court system took his father away from him, and he wants his daddy back. That’s all. You give his dad equal time and the problems go away. Children need their fathers, too!

    The real travesty here is that no one is going to look into what’s keeping the father away. Most men aren’t delinquents or deadbeats—they support their children and want more time with them. Most times in cases like this it’s some callous family court judge, some idiot social worker, or it’s the mom who’s interferring out of spite. But nothing will be done about this.

    Instead, they going to get this kid a therapist, tell him he’s disturbed and that just having a mom should be enough. Anything to avoid giving this kid what he really needs—more time with his dad.

    What a rotten system.

  27. Paul C. says:

    I agree that what the boy obviously needs is more time with his father. The problem is, it’s so obvious that it’s clearly beyond the understanding of the knuckleheaded authorities who will be pushing this case to its sad conclusion.

  28. Herr Stig says:

    Big for his age??

  29. John says:

    Let me guess a Roody Poo?

  30. Michael R. says:

    I’m sure this little guy will be sentenced to something worst than jail…psycho therapy with a overweight, left- wing neurotic, soccer mom.

  31. Al says:

    He can be my designated driver anytime.

  32. Been there and it's sad says:

    Poor kid. Obviously his parents haven’t been able to work out their relationship problems like adults and he’s caught in the middle of the mess.

  33. Hank Warren says:

    Useless gov’t charging 7-year olds, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our rights:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama, vote for Ron Paul.
    (Last link of Banned Book):

  34. Mike says:

    Time for dad to fetch the paddle.

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