Adelanto, CA – June 29, 2011 – Remember when you couldn’t wait to get your driver’s license? When you dreamed of freedom and adventure, before you knew the horrors of road rage, traffic and gas prices? Well, one little boy from The California Inland Empire made those dreams a reality when he hopped into the driver’s seat of a Toyota his mother’s boyfriend just repossessed and drove it across three Southern California highways.
Attempting to do a private citizen’s repossession, 51 year old Terry Varner, enlisted the help of the 11-year-old boy. Together they allegedly drove down to San Bernadino, repossessed the car and were headed home, with the boy following Veronon on the highway.
Investigators say the boy drove the desert highways of San Bernardino County northbound on the 215 Freeway to the base of the Cajon Pass, then got on the 15 Freeway and traveled up to the top of the pass into the high desert. Then he got on the 395 and drove into Adelanto, where he was pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy.
Deputies were alerted to the vehicle driving wrecklessly just before 1 p.m. Sunday. A deputy spotted the car just north of Seneca Drive on the Victorville-Adelanto border. She pulled the car over and noticed that another car had pulled over and stopped. That car then abruptly pulled away, the department said.
The 11-year-old boy was found at the wheel of the stopped car. He was taken to the Victor Valley Sheriff’s Station and the car was towed. The child’s mother and county children services were called.
After the boy was interviewed, he was released to his mother, the department said.
The boy is unharmed, and his mother allegedly knew nothing about the trip. They are both cooperating fully. Varner is being held in Victor Valley Jail on suspicion of child endangerment and willful cruelty to a child resulting in possible injury or death. He is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Quote: “We must all go through a rite of passage, and it must be physical, it must be painful, and it must leave a mark.” Captain Howdy, Strangeland.