On a recent afternoon, a Texas grandmother discovered that her two granddaughters, aged 12 and 5, were missing from her home. Her car was missing too. Imaging the worse—that her granddaughters have been kidnapped from her home and forcibly taken in her car by the kidnapper—she called 911 to report the incident

Fortunately for Grandma, she had OnStar installed in her car and the police were able to quickly track the location of her car. The police caught up with the car and a chase ensued. The police dash cam videotape of the chase looks like a police chase out of an action thriller. The driver of Grandma’s car was running red lights, sideswiping vehicles while weaving in and out of traffic, and going at speeds of up to 118 mph. The chase lasted about 40 minutes along Highway 105 in the outlying suburban area of Houston right during rush hour. At one point during the chase Grandma’s car was heading right into oncoming traffic.

Ultimately police were able to have the OnStar center shut off the car remotely. The chase ended— almost miraculously without any injuries. Inside Grandma’s car sat her 12 year old granddaughter at the steering wheel with her 5 year old granddaughter in the passenger seat. The frightened 5 year old jumped straight into an officer’s arms; the 12 year old was arrested.

Whatever could possess a 12 year old to steal her grandmother’s car with her 5 year old sister in tow and engage multiple police cruisers on a wild chase? Could it be that she watched too many action movies and wanted to try enacting a chase scene? Could it be that she was escaping something that frightened her so badly she just wanted to get far away? Could it be that she was practicing in furtherance of her aspirations as a race car driver? Well, of course not. But what if I told you that she was on a quest to visit her boyfriend? Now that might sound like something a teen would do and indeed that was apparently her agenda. I can only say that she is lucky that the only consequence for her brazen action is that she is sitting in juvenile hall facing multiple felony counts including evading officers and grand theft.

This incident is an illustration of an act influenced by the teenage brain as I have discussed in previous blog posts. Not to say that the 12 year old granddaughter should be excused for her actions because her brain has not fully matured, but it serves as an example— perhaps in the extreme— of a lack of mature reasoning that the does not develop in the human brain until the late teen years or even adulthood.

When a teen is arrested and charged with a crime, he or she needs an experienced criminal defense attorney just as much as an adult arrested for a crime would. William Weinberg has extensive experience defending juveniles and adults in the criminal justice system. If you have any questions concerning a criminal matter, Mr. Weinberg is available to speak with you. You can contact Mr. Weinberg at 949-474-8008 or at www.bill@williamweinberg.com.