CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have charged a 12-year-old girl who lead police on a midnight chase along the interstate. Police said she drove more than 50 miles from her home in Gaffney, South Carolina to the I-77/I-85 interchange in North Charlotte.
"She could have killed herself and someone else," said Mary Triplett. It was her neighbor's car that had been reported stolen. He left it parked at the VFW Post in Gaffney for about a week because he was unable to start the engine. The key broke off in the ignition.
According to the incident report, the girl threatened to run away before but never had until Monday night. Her father told police he recently got custody of his daughter from her mother living in Myrtle Beach. With no friends in the area, he believed she was heading there and may have gotten lost.
He reported seeing his daughter doing chores around the house around 11 p.m. He fell asleep on the couch and half an hour later found she was missing. He stated he drove around the area for about an hour and then flagged down a police officer when he was unable to find her.
The girl was taken to Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte and released into her father's custody. CMPD has charged her with driving without a license, failing to maintain control of the lane, ignoring police by failing to stop and driving below the speed limit.
An officer with CMPD's Steele Creek Division initially attempted to pull the pickup truck over on suspicion of drunk driving near Red Roof Road late Monday night. The girl was driving below the speed limit and they did not realize who was behind the wheel. When she refused to stop, officers called in the State Highway Patrol.
It took SHP about 20 minutes to get the girl to stop.
Along with the charges, she may face auto theft charges in South Carolina following the conclusion of the investigation. Police said there are reports she broke a finger in the time she left the house and was taken into custody. They are looking to see if it occurred while she was trying to get the truck started.