A 12-year-old boy allegedly got behind the wheel of a school bus and drove it about 15 miles for a joyride to Walmart.
In case you were wondering, yes, this did happen in Florida.
The driver of the bus in question reportedly left the keys in the ignition when he parked it outside his home and also may have left the door of the vehicle open. The driver has reportedly been suspended for two weeks in connection with this incident.
The youngster, identified in multiple media accounts as Michael Wade Propst, boarded the bus about 4 am on Tuesday morning when he was out and about riding his bike in the Panama City Beach area, and apparently drove it like a boss for about an hour. According to a school district representative in commenting on the vehicle’s security cameras, “We watched him on the video, and you would have thought he was one of our trained bus drivers. Twelve years old, and he had no problem driving that bus. I was really shocked that he was able to do that.”
The preteen now faces charges of grand theft of an item worth more than $100,000 and felony criminal mischief along with grand theft for a missing student recognition device worth about $2,000, according to the News Herald. Additional charges may also be filed.
Bay County Sheriff’s deputies are also investigating whether the vehicle was involved in a fender bender of some kind given that a scrape of white paint was noticed on the right side of the bus.
Walmart workers apparently didn’t give props to Propst for his parking ability at the end of the joyride, however, as UPI reported. “Store employees observed that the vehicle was having issues parking and then they noticed that the driver did not appear to be old enough to have a license.” Said one employee, “It was just odd the way [he was] driving it. He was having a hard time parking it, like he’d never drove one before.”
Deputies pulled over the bus after apparently being notified by Walmart employees.
[image credit: Die4kids]