After the unidentified boy's parents fell asleep early after a long day, the boy found that he was still hungry and wanted a McDonald's cheeseburger. He had already eaten dinner, but it just wasn't enough. Not wanting to wake his parents, the boy decided to take matters into his own hands.
The obvious solution? To go for a joy ride. The boy didn't want to wake his parents up, so he stood on his tip toes to get his parent's car keys. He then packed up his four-year-old sister in the family van and drove them both to McDonald's.
The journey to McDonald's was a mile-and-a-half. During the trip, the boy had to go over railroad tracks and through multiple intersections. According to witnesses, the boy obeyed all of the traffic laws and followed the speed limit. Because if you're going to go for a joy ride, you still gotta follow the law!
When the McDonald's employees saw an eight-year-old pull up, they initially thought it was a prank. “Whenever he pulled up to the first window, employees actually thought they were being pranked,” said East Palestine Patrolman Jeff Koehler. “The workers thought that the parents were in the back, but obviously they weren’t."
A family friend who was dining in the restaurant recognized the children. He called their grandparents to pick them up. The children were able to enjoy their hard-earned meal while waiting for their grandparents. Good thing the trip wasn't for nothing!
McDonald's employees called the police once they figured out that the incident was no joke. Koehler spoke to the boy who burst into tears once he realized it was wrong of him to take his parents car. He really had only wanted a cheeseburger. Aww!!
“With the way technology is anymore, kids will learn how to do anything and everything. This kid learned how to drive on YouTube. He probably looked it up for five minutes and then said it was time to go," said Koehler. No charges were filed, as Koehler considered the incident "a good teaching point."
Additionally, Koehler was impressed by the eight year old's driving skills. When he received the report of a kid driving, he also expected to receive reports regarding damages caused by a wayward vehicle. However, there were note. “He didn’t hit a single thing on the way there. It was unreal,” said Koehler.
Koehler also stated that the incident was not a result of child neglect. The children had both been fed three full meals that day. But when you've got that craving for McD's, you just can't be stopped.