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Boy Pilots Toy Car Along Highway

July 13, 1999

FAIRFIELD, Ohio (AP) _ A 6-year-old boy who slipped away from his day care center managed to hot-wire a toy vehicle and drive it for a mile along a bustling state highway, authorities said.

An alarmed motorist called police to say she was stunned to see little John T. Carpenter piloting the toy alongside regular-sized vehicles just outside Cincinnati.

Authorities said they were investigating how John got away from Kiddie Kampus Pre-School and Day Care Center on Friday. Police said his disappearance went undetected until officers contacted the center more than an hour later.

The boy apparently wandered away from the center, then came upon a mini Monster truck-type toy parked outside ReRuns for Wee Ones, a children’s resale shop.

``I had the wires unhooked so no one could ride off in it, but he reconnected the wires without anyone seeing him, took off the price tag and rode away,″ co-owner Trisha Taylor said Monday.

``I was just floored. I couldn’t believe it. This kid is only 6, and he had to have lifted up that hood and knew which wires to put together,″ Mrs. Taylor said.

John was unhurt and police returned him to his mother.

The Butler County Children Services Board said it will investigate and determine what action might be needed at Kiddie Kampus, said Jon Allen, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Human Services.

An employee of Kiddie Kampus declined comment to The Cincinnati Enquirer. The boy’s mother did not return messages left by the newspaper.

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