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Boy, 9, Hops Flight to Vegas—Alone

Boy, 9, sneaks on to flight to Las Vegas
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

We don't know what you were doing in your spare time as a 9-year-old, but we were pretty much still playing with our Barbies all day. Or dancing in our bedroom mirror. Or cruising around on our banana seat bikes, daring ourselves to ride with "no hands." (That's about as crazy as it got.)

We certainly weren't outsmarting airline officials and hopping flights to Vegas, "just because." But for one soon-to-be grounded 9-year-old from Minnesota, that's exactly how his Thursday went.

According to reports, the unidentified boy strolled up to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, was screened by TSA officials, and seamlessly boarded an 11:15 a.m. Delta flight to the land of casinos, strippers and all-around bad decisions. And he did it all without a boarding pass. (Meanwhile, we can't even make it on a plane with a slightly overstuffed carry-on bag. What's going on here?)

Apparently nobody raised an eyebrow over the kid's solo flight (or lack of boarding pass?) until the flight was literally mid-air and the kid was well on his way to Sin City. But, eventually, the clearly inept flight crew took notice and called the Las Vegas police, who then took him into custody when the plane landed. From there, the boy made his way to child protective services and his parents were contacted.

"The fact that the child's actions weren't detected until he was in flight is concerning," airport spokesman Patrick Hogan told ABC News. (Um yea, we'd say so.) "More than 33 million people travel through Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport every year, and I don't know of another instance in my 13 years at the airport in which anything similar has happened."

Vegas police spokesman Bill Cassell noted that the boy is "more worldly than most 9-year-old kids", since he made it onboard without a ticket, and across five states before anyone thought Hey, something doesn't seem right, here. But really, how "worldly" could a kid in the 3rd grade be?

The boy's father apparently has other words for the 9-year-old. And "worldly" isn't really one of them.

In an interview Tuesday with CBS affiliate WCCO-TV, the boy's dad told reporters, “I don’t have an angel, OK. I have a 9-year-old. To me, he’s got a behavior problem.” This "behavior problem" is so bad, he's allegedly been trying to seek help since the kid was just 5 years old.

“I don’t know what to do. I love my son," he continued. "I’m not giving up on my son. He’s just confused. So can anyone please help me? Please.”

Shockingly, the boy's father says he was also accused of stealing—and later crashing—a 30-foot delivery truck, too. Wow.

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