Schenectady County

Driver, 14, crashes stolen car in Central Bridge after chase

Schenectady County deputies figured they were looking for a 20-something male who had stolen a car f

Schenectady County deputies figured they were looking for a 20-something male who had stolen a car from the Cushing Stone Company in the town of Florida.

The original bulletin put out by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department suggested authorities watch for an older man, possibly even in his 30s. But what they found, police said, was a 14-year-old boy from Fonda who led a Schenectady County deputy on a high-speed chase for more than 10 miles on Route 7 before crashing the stolen vehicle through several road signs and into a telephone pole.

“He looked young, but he didn’t look 14 years old,” said Lt. Jason Temple. “We had to call his mother to verify he was telling the truth.”

Sure enough, the youth’s story checked out and he was charged with felony criminal possession of stolen property. In addition, the youth faces misdemeanor counts of unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle and obstruction of governmental administration.

Temple said the boy, whose named was not released because of his age, initially stole a bicycle and was riding it along the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail when he happened upon a black Oldsmobile Intrigue parked at Cushing Stone shortly after noon Thursday. Apparently, the car belonged to a worker who had left the keys in the ignition, allowing the boy to drive off.

About two hours later and 20 miles away on Route 7, Deputy Robert Kennedy was preparing to flag motorists in connection with Operation Safe Stop, a statewide effort to curb traffic infractions around school buses. The youth then sped by Kennedy’s parked cruiser at more than 70 mph, which was roughly 35 mph over the posted speed limit, police said.

When Kennedy took chase near the Schoharie Turnpike intersection, the youth allegedly floored it through a red light toward Schoharie County, passing the few vehicles that were on the roadway at the time. At times during the pursuit, the boy hit speeds in excess of 90 mph, Temple said.

About 10 miles into the pursuit and after crossing the Schoharie Creek into Central Bridge, the boy lost control of the car around a turn. The car struck the street signs with enough force to hurl them into a building more than 50 feet away, but slowed enough by the time it struck the telephone pole to prevent the boy from sustaining serious injury.

The boy was taken to the Albany Medical Center Hospital for a precautionary evaluation. However, he was later released to the custody of his parents and now faces charges in Schenectady County Family Court later this month.

Temple said authorities in Montgomery County indicated the boy had a past record. However, he was uncertain how the youth learned how to drive with the precision he did during the chase.

“We were surprised how well he did drive,” he said.

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