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9-year-old runaway returned to Minneapolis on Delta flight

A Delta Airlines plane at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
A Delta Airlines plane at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
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Updated: 10/12/2013 1:36 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV -- A 9-year-old boy who slipped onto a flight to Las Vegas 10 days ago was returned to Minnesota this morning.

A boy and two body guards/officials were seated in the back row of Delta Flight 1550 that left McCarran International Airport about 7:15 a.m. today, according to an NBC producer who was on the flight.

The NBC producer on the plane told News 3 that the boy was: "Bigger than expected and slept much of the trip. He was in the back of the airplane with two guys guarding him. He was last to get off. Police surrounded him, but he didn't come through terminal. About 10 cops helped escort him off the flight onto tarmac away from the crowds and the terminal. Cops surrounded the producer as soon as they realized he wanted to take pictures of the boy."

The producer was briefly detained by Minneapolis police when he attempted to use a camera after the flight landed.

Las Vegas Metro police, who had assisted in the case starting Oct. 2 when the boy arrived on a Delta flight in Las Vegas, declined to comment today, saying it was not their case and that the Transportation Security Administration was the lead agency in the case.

The boy has a history of running away from home. His father held a news conference in Minneapolis a few days ago during which he pleaded for help with handling his child. The boy has stolen at least one vehicle that hit a police squad car in a previous runaway attempt.

The child's behavior was detailed in a court petition filed Friday in Minnesota by state officials seeking to intervene in the boy's life.

In the petition, Hennepin County Human Services and the Public Health Department said the child needs protection or services because he's a runaway and committed a delinquent act before age 10.

A hearing to assess whether he needs protection will be held in Minnesota.

According to Hennepin County's website, child protection could involve a host of services, including removing a child from a home or appointing a social worker to the family.


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