Dad of stowaway boy speaks out, asks for help

12:10 PM, Oct 10, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The father of the 9-year-old boy who successfully thwarted multiple levels of airport security, didn't want to be seen at his first public appearance Wednesday morning, but he said he needed to be heard.

"Somebody please help me," the father said through tears while donning a hoodie and baseball cap concealing his face in front of several cameras representing multiple media outlets at a press conference.

For weeks the man said he asked authorities for help in dealing with his troubled son.

He said he asked at his son's school when he was suspended for fighting.

He said he asked police when the boy was taken in after stealing a truck and smashing into an Edina police car.

"I'm tired of people saying he's a minor there is nothing we can do, there is something somebody can do. I don't want to see my son hurt," the father said.

Help in cases like this can be hard to find, but a first step, can be taken.

"It's best to usually start with a family physician or therapist," licensed family therapist at FamilyMeans Emily Erickson said Wednesday night.

There are clinics in the Twin Cities that offer sliding scale fees for therapy; some can even come at no cost.

It's clear this boy, who was able to steal a truck, divert multiple levels of security and board a plane without a ticket is savvy.

But his actions also suggest he has real struggles he can't seem to verbalize.

"For kids, behavior is communication. They don't have the skills that we have to speak to say I am feeling this way or that way, and they struggle in this way so they behave and that is their way of sounding an alarm," Erickson said.

In an effort to find the silver lining here maybe this boy's latest stunt is the alarm that has to sound for help to find him.

Citing data privacy laws Hennepin County authorities wouldn't answer questions about if they would be helping this boy, as his mother claims, and if they would what exactly that would entail.

The boy's family says he is still in protective custody in Las Vegas and that they have not spoken to him though they were told he would be flying home on Friday.

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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