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Mo. Boy Dragged To Death From Car

February 23, 2000

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) _ A six-year-old boy who became tangled in a seat belt outside his mother’s car as the vehicle was being stolen died Tuesday after being dragged for miles at speeds up to 80 mph.

The boy was ``hanging out of the side of the car bouncing″ down Interstate 70 as horrified motorists honked their horns and flashed their lights at the fleeing vehicle, said Fred Byam, one of four men who helped capture the man suspected of stealing the vehicle.

Jake D. Robel was killed after he was dragged more than four miles.

Four men in two trucks and a car finally surrounded the stolen vehicle after it left the highway and stopped at a stoplight on a busy Independence road.

One of the men got a rope from his car and tied the suspect’s legs when he tried to run.

The suspect was trying to push the boy out of the car when the boy became tangled in the seat belt, authorities said. The suspect was in custody.

The car was stolen when the boy’s mother left it running while she ran into a store to get a sandwich.

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