While most kids his age rely on video games to get their adrenaline fix, a pajama clad 9-year-old boy took his thrill seeking to the streets when he stole a city bus in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan last Saturday morning.
The bus, which was in the shop for maintenance, had been parked in front of a city garage and was left running and unattended in the street, a temptation the pint-sized opportunist, understandably, just could not pass up.
After prying open the unlocked front door, the young bus thief commandeered the driver’s seat, put the vehicle in gear and hit the road. Not willing to let his diminutive size slow down his joyride, he apparently drove while standing up because his tiny legs weren’t long enough to reach the pedals. Give that a shot on your commute home tonight. You can’t do it. This kid is the best.
Somehow, he managed to maneuver the vehicle three blocks through a residential area and navigate two right turns, a feat that would be even more impressive if it didn’t leave a pile of crushed metal in its wake. In addition to taking on damages of a cracked windshield and a broken mirror, the bus totaled a truck and smashed into another bus before docking on a curb.
That’s all, though. It’s as close as you can get to a victimless crime while still impacting the lives of dozens of victims.
What would inspire a youngster to pull such a stunt? Too many hours playing Grand Theft Auto V? A thing for Sandra Bullock in Speed? We’ll never know for sure. However, the Saskatchewan police have a theory. Like so many before him who took a risk in the name of fun, he did it because he could.
Amazing. But a bus stealing pre-teen is not without precedent. This past summer a 12-year-old Floridian boy took a school bus for a joy ride, not once but twice in a span of three weeks. Slightly more successful than his fellow bus-jacker to the north, on the first go round the kid managed to drive the stolen school bus nearly 15 miles to a local Wal-Mart, because where else are you going to go?
Three weeks later and just hours after appearing in court for the first theft, he nabbed another bus. This time a 2-hour joyride ensued before he was pulled over by police for erratic driving.
So what’s to be made of all this? Should this reckless behavior be condemned? What should we think of these two maverick bus pirates? In this age of helicopter parenting, where kids can’t cross the street without an escort and a pre-approved plan for their comings and goings, this just reads more like a hearty “fuck yeah” to their independence and adventuresome spirit.
What a great story.
Diana Cook is on Twitter, you can say “Hi” to her there.