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Suspected 9 year-old car thief pinned under car by brother

Deputies became aware something was wrong when they received a phone call that a 9-year-old was trapped under a car, and that it appears the 10-year-old was behind the wheel at the time.


Two brothers, ages 9 and 10, who reportedly have learning disabilities, found themselves in the middle of a Roscommon County Sheriff's investigation.


Deputies became aware something was wrong when they received a phone call that a 9-year-old was trapped under a car, and that it appears the 10 year-old was behind the wheel at the time.


This was the end to what authorities believe may have been a series of crimes committed by the young pair.


During the overnight hours previous to this incident around 2:30am, Roscommon County Deputies were dispatched to Gary Franz Auto Exchange, a used car dealership in the Village of Roscommon, for a report of a broken window.


The boys' grandmother, whom they live with, called reporting that her grandsons had damaged the window of the car dealership which was near their house.


Upon investigation the deputies found that the office building had been broken into and keys were stolen. The offenders used the stolen keys to start vehicles in the used car lot. The vehicles that were stolen had then collided with other vehicles for sale on the lot, causing damage to several vehicles.


The boys admitted that they had been driving the vehicles.


Deputies contacted the owner of the business and left the child suspects in the care of their grandparents.


"There's no doubt that this is a unique situation," John Wybraniec, the Roscommon County Sheriff Detective Sergeant, said. "How often do we get a nine and ten year old to where they decide that they're going to break into an auto dealership, steal some keys, and then take cars for joyriding. It's a first for my career, that we would have something like this."


In the morning, Deputies returned to the house and spoke further with the juvenile suspects and their grandparents.


About three hours later, Deputies were dispatched back to the residence of the juvenile suspects for the report of a child under a vehicle.


Upon arrival, Officers from the Roscommon County Sheriffs Office as well as the Gerrish Township Police Department found that there was a vehicle that was parked in the unplowed side yard of the residence and there was in fact a child completely under the vehicle.


"My dad had been in town and he saw something was going on down the road," Darci Goddard, who saw the event happen, said. "So, my sister and I decided to walk to McDonalds to see what was going on. We saw someone was trapped under the car."


The boys were seen by witnesses driving around the area and crashing the vehicles into each other.


One of the vehicles later got stuck in a snow bank on the side of the road. It appeared as though the 9 year-old had been run over by the vehicle as it backed into the unplowed side yard.


The child was alive but wedged under the vehicle, with the vehicle resting on him.


It was determined that a short time later, the 9 year-old boy was struck by the vehicle that his 10 year-old brother was operating. The 10 year-old boy then reported to his grandparents that his brother was lodged under the vehicle.


"The children still had sets of keys to two cars for the lot," Detective Sergeant Wybraniec said. "That morning, they went back across the street. They took a couple vehicles.


The 10-year-old did, in fact, run over the 9-year-old, pinning the 9-year-old under the vehicle. The fire department came out. They used their hydraulic balloon lift to lift the vehicle off of the 9-year-old. They got him out."


Higgins Township Fire and Rescue was called to the scene to lift the vehicle off of the child and remove him for treatment. Fire and rescue personnel successfully lifted the vehicle off of the child, and he was transported by ambulance to Grayling Mercy Hospital, where he was then air lifted to Hurley Medical Center in Flint. Detective Sergeant Wybraniec says he sustained non-life threatening injuries.


"It couldâ??ve been bad," Matthew Roche, the uncle of the boys, said. "Luckily, heâ??s going to be okay. Itâ??s unfortunate. My parents adopt(ed) the kids. Theyâ??re trying to bring them up. My sister just gave them away. Theyâ??re doing the best they can. They have medical issues."


Roche tells us that his 10-year-old nephew has a severe mental disability and that his 9-year-old nephew has learning disabilities, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.



"Because of their age, itâ??s not likely that theyâ??re going to be held accountable for auto theft," Detective Sergeant Wybraniec said. "Iâ??m sure the petition will indicate joyriding. I think itâ??s something for the courts to decide. Theyâ??ll be brought under the jurisdiction of probate court. Iâ??m sure theyâ??re going to be put on probation. It depends on the extent of their learning disability."


Detective Sergeant Wybraniec tells us they plan on questioning the boys at the County's new Children's Assessment Center for more details on what took place Sunday morning.


The amount of damage to the vehicles in the lot is unknown at this time.

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