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Friday, Sep 19, 2014
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Memo: Stowaway boy known to child protection staff


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MINNEAPOLIS — A 9-year-old boy who evaded airport security and stowed away on a flight from Minneapolis to Las Vegas has also stolen a car and sneaked into a water park, and he is known to child protection investigators, according to a confidential county government memo.

In the email obtained by the Star Tribune, Janine Moore, area director of the Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department, said child protection staffers have conducted four assessments of the boy’s family since December and that he is a “challenging” child.

“The reports have been inconsistent and there have been no injuries to the child; however, there is a pattern of behavior,” she wrote in the email to county administrators and commissioners marked “private data.”

Moore did not identify the boy or his family, nor did she say where they live.

She did however say that the boy’s mother works at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport where he sneaked onto the plane without a boarding pass or ID Thursday. The Delta Air Lines flight crew realized midflight that he wasn’t supposed to be there, and Las Vegas authorities took him into custody when the plane landed.

The boy became “violent” and was hospitalized in Las Vegas, where hospital staff reported he was “uncontrollable” at first but eventually calmed down, she said.

Moore did not return calls from The Associated Press seeking comment Monday and early Tuesday.

A hearing in Las Vegas about the boy’s case was scheduled for Tuesday, said Chuck Laszewski, spokesman for Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. The child protection division in the county attorney’s office will also investigate but are waiting for officials in Las Vegas to wrap up their work, he said.

The boy is too young to be charged with a crime.

The Minneapolis airport police department has not released its reports on the incident, saying the federal Transportation Security Administration was still reviewing them Tuesday.

Moore said the boy stole a car two weeks ago and she outlined his history of sneaking into a local water park by blending in with large families.

The boy’s future could go two ways, she wrote. If he’s been mistreated, he could be removed from his home. If he has a mental health issue, there could be a “behavioral health response,” which she didn’t explain.

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