MINNEAPOLIS -- A 13-year-old boy has been charged in connection withthat left eight people injured.
The Hennepin County Attorney's Office did not name the teen, but said he has been charged with four counts of criminal vehicular operation, one count of receiving stolen property and one count of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle. Each charge is a felony.
Police said six juveniles were in a stolen car thatbefore the driver hit another car at Penn Avenue North and Olson Memorial Highway, then crashed into a bus shelter.
The boy charged was the driver of the stolen vehicle, and was 12 at the time of the crash. All six children in the vehicle, the oldest of whom was 16, were injured in the crash. A pedestrian was also hurt, and the driver of the other vehicle was treated at the scene.
Police said the stolen vehicle was involved in a string of armed robberies in south Minneapolis earlier on Monday.
WCCO News spoke with Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty about the case Wednesday.
"We have really, really young kids who are taking cars. We know that youth engage in thrill-seeking behavior," Moriarty said.
She says this surge in youth crime has her office working to find resources for these young offenders.
Moriarty says judges have three choices when dealing with an arrested teenager.
"We either detain them, release them to home, or release them on electronic home monitoring. We need more services because what happens then is you got a youth who's released, their court date maybe way out, weeks, months down the road, and they are not getting any services in that time," Moriarty said.
Moriarty says she is working to pump the brakes on this surge of young people stealing cars.
"We have focused our resources, particularly on car theft crimes. We have moved up and put resources in place where we can charge those cases much more quickly when they are brought to us on an out-of-custody basis," she said.
Moriarty says there must be a group effort to provide better outcomes for juvenile offenders.
"I and our office have been advocating to get more resources, secure resources, group homes where you bring treatment to that youth in the community," she said.
Moriarty is desperately trying to strike a balance between helping troubled kids and keeping the community safe.
"In our community, we need a continuum of care where youth who cannot go home safely can stay, [with] varying levels of security, where treatment, trauma, mental health, substance use are brought to them," she said.
Moriarty said no other case details would be released due to the boy's age, in accordance with state law. She says her office could not charge the other teenagers because their cases were not sent to them to consider.
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