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13-year-old faces felony charges after crashing stolen SUV during Sidney pursuit

News Center 7’s James Rider tells us more about the incident and how it could have ended up worse for the city and people involved.

Around 9:40 p.m., an officer spotted a red Oldsmobile SUV headed north in the 900 block of North Miami Avenue without taillights illuminated.

When the officer attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver took off, turning right on Bennett Street then driving in the grass near a preschool, Capt. William Shoemaker said.

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The pursuit went on for about a mile with speeds over 50 mph before the driver ran a red light, failed to negotiate a curve and struck another vehicle on Canal Street.

“Somehow the car goes around from the sidewalk and misses our speed trailer. That would have cost the city around $15,000 to replace,” Shoemaker said.

The driver then bailed from the SUV while it was still moving and took off running before he was apprehended a short time later.

The two people in the vehicle on Canal Street that the SUV struck suffered minor injuries and were treated on scene by Sidney medics.

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Had police had known it was a 13-year-old driving the SUV — stolen from the 1000 block of North Miami Avenue just before the chase — the officer wouldn’t have followed in the high-speed pursuit, Shoemaker said.

“They’re not forbidden but they’d have to be an extreme circumstance when we would pursue anybody under the age of 18,” he said.

The teen was taken to Wilson ER with minor injuries for treatment, then was booked into the Juvenile Detention Center in Troy.

“Pursuits are more common that they need to be. It’s very uncommon for a 13-year-old to steal a car or get in a pursuit,” Shoemaker said. “I’d rather have the 13-year-old playing video games or doing their homework at 9 o’clock at night.”

The boy now faces felony theft of a motor vehicle and felony failure to comply.

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