An 11-year-old Fort Stewart child led police on a high speed chase through Hinesville into Midway on Wednesday morning, law enforcement authorities said.
According to Liberty County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Dennis Poulson the vehicle was taken by the 11-year-old from a Fort Stewart address and driven into Hinesville. The child turned into the Cadence Bank parking lot on West Gen. Screven Way where he allegedly stuck an ATM machine, causing minor damage, around 11 a.m. Bank employees reported the accident and a be on the lookout alert, or BOLO, was put out for a black 2022 Dodge Ram pickup with a drive off tag.
A Hinesville police officer spotted the vehicle driving recklessly on West Oglethorpe Highway in the direction of Midway and attempted to stop it. The child allegedly continued to increase his speed when he struck 2012 Chevy Equinox driven by a 16-year-old female in the vicinity of Wallace Martin Drive and East Oglethorpe, causing damage to the left front fender. The Hinesville police officer broke off the chase once it entered county jurisdiction.
Liberty County sheriff’s deputies picked up the chase, where speeds reached close to 100 mph as they headed into Midway. The child allegedly continued into Midway, where deputies were unable to stop him due to erratic driving.
According to Georgia State Patrol Trooper David Laff, the youngster attempted to turn onto I-95 south when he missed the roadway, driving onto the grassy area and eventually bogging down in a muddy area. The vehicle, which belonged to his stepfather, received minor damage.
According to Poulson, the child was released to his mother and is being charged with theft by receiving stolen property, fleeing, no seatbelt and no license. He was not taken to the Youth Detention Center in Claxton because of his age.
No injuries were reported from the incident.