11-year-old Boy Steals School Bus, Leads Police on Chase Before Crashing

An 11-year-old boy stole a school bus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and led police on a chase before crashing the vehicle into a tree on Sunday morning, authorities said.

Sgt. L'Jean McKneely Jr., a spokesperson for the Baton Rouge Police Department, told Newsweek that the boy took the bus from the parking lot of the Progress Head Start Center.

The juvenile struck several vehicles before crashing the bus into a tree, McKneely added.

An eyewitness posted a video on Twitter of the boy during the joyride as the bus was being chased by police. The bus is seen moving along a road while sirens are heard blaring in the clip.

Joy Gradney also filmed the juvenile on her cell phone. "As he got closer and closer and closer, I saw it's a little boy in there and he was laughing," she told WAFB.

"He was like giggling on the way across Florida as he goes right past me. I'm like I can't believe it's a little boy."

McKneely said police had received the first report about a juvenile driver at 10.45 a.m. on Sunday. He said multiple police units followed the boy until he crashed.

"The male juvenile crashed the school bus around 11.25 a.m. into a tree after crashing into vehicles and fleeing from officers," McKneely said.

That tree was located in Libby Smith's front yard on Greenwell Springs Road.

"I'm thinking what in the world is going on and my first thought is that it was a lot of kids on the bus," Smith told WAFB.

"Thank goodness he was OK he was safe, but it was not your typical Sunday afternoon occurrence for sure. So, we're blessed that it didn't do any more damage than it did."

According to a report from WBRZ, the school bus cut into a gas line when it crashed. Officers then surrounded the vehicle and took the juvenile driver into custody.

Sydney Kern, a reporter for the station, posted a picture of the bus after the crash on Twitter. "The homeowners said they saw the kid get out of the bus and he looked OK," Kern added.

The boy, who was not identified, was arrested and booked into the Baton Rouge Juvenile Detention Center.

He is facing charges of theft of a vehicle, aggravated flight, aggravated damage to property and aggravated assault, McKneely confirmed to Newsweek.

According to WBRZ, the aggravated assault charge is due to the boy "purposely trying to strike a vehicle."

School bus stock
Stock photo. An 11-year-old boy stole a school bus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and led police on a chase before crashing the vehicle into a tree. Getty