Last Tuesday morning, the Blaine Police Department got a call from a bus driver who'd just witnessed a little boy driving an SUV down University Avenue.
Not well, mind you: The boy had allegedly taken out a couple of mailboxes and sideswiped a tree along the way. When the very underage driver was spotted, he was headed down four lanes of busy traffic at around 10 to 15 mph.
Police saddled up and found the boy and the bus driver safely parked at a Speedway gas station. The bus driver had already taken the keys out of the ignition. And, as luck would have it, not long after that initial call, police got an anxious report from one Jenna Swenson that her 4-year-old, Sebastian, had gone missing.
The cops quickly put two and two together. The literal baby driver was Sebastian, who lived about a mile and a half away from the Speedway and had a craving for sugar that day. The SUV was his great-grandfather Roy Becker’s Hyundai Santa Fe. When nobody was looking, Sebastian had used Becker’s walker to snatch the car keys off a hook on the wall and go on a candy run.
It was difficult for a person that small to operate a vehicle built for a grown-up, but Sebastian – all without so much as putting on a seatbelt -- managed to back out of the driveway, meander in a drunk-seeming zigzag through the neighborhood, turn left onto University, and throw a major wrench into rush-hour traffic. A piece of the truck's bumper ended up at a neighbor’s house, and Sebastian ended up at the gas station.
Miraculously, nobody was hurt. Officers took the boy home and reunited him with his family, who had been scared half to death by the whole ordeal. They told Fox 9 they plan on locking up the keys and keeping a closer eye on him in the future.
As far as Captain Mark Boerboom is concerned, this isn’t a case of neglect or questionable childcare. Sebastian is just a “funny little kid” who “knew a little too much.”
“In my 20 years, I’ve never seen anything like this,” he says.
In case you’re wondering, Sebastian had been after a specific kind of candy that morning – Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Take that for what it’s worth.