Boy Faces Charges in Theft of Bus
Wednesday, August 16th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6
WASHINGTON (AP) â€” A 9-year-old boy charged with stealing a Trailways bus says he was just going to visit his grandfather. The boy was arrested after the bus crashed while making a U-turn on an expressway.
Ronnell Blakeney faces juvenile charges, as well as a curfew and counseling program until his court date.
Ronnell rode his bike to the bus station Monday, finding a bus with its door open, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
``So I did it just like my uncle showed me how to do it â€” I pressed this button to start the engine, and that's when I pulled the bus out and started to drive it,'' he told the newspaper.
``I knew the police were going to pull me over, and that I was going to get in trouble. And they were going to lock me up,'' he said.
The bus hit a utility pole as Assistant Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer was driving by. Gainer arrested the boy.
``I tried to do a U-turn to hit (Interstate) 395,'' Ronnell said. ``The police officer called me over, and I got down off the bus and walked over to him, and he told me to get in the police car.''
The boy, who will be a fourth-grader next month, stands 4 feet, 9 inches tall â€” which would explain how he could reach the bus' pedals.
Ronnell's mother, Louise Blakeney, said the boy will face penalties at home even before the court can get to him.
``Ronnell is already punished through November,'' she said, ``and now this is going to take away his Christmas.''