11-year-old girl faces judge after joyride in mother’s SUV

PEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) - An 11-year-old girl who took her mother’s SUV for a joyride faced a Broward County judge, Tuesday.

Authorities said the girl took police on a 13-mile joyride, Monday, that ended with her crashing into a man’s car. She has been charged with aggravated fleeing and eluding and operating a vehicle without a license.

The proceeding that took place inside of the courtroom was centered around more of the details from the joyride, rather than the charges. The girl’s attorney, Gordon Weekes, said his client is dealing with difficulties in her life. “This young lady is 10 years old, just turned 11,” said Weekes. “She is transitioning from elementary school to middle school. She’s taking some advanced classes in her sixth-grade year. She’s just having a difficult time with the transition.”

The judge was heard in court asking the 11-year-old if she was OK and focused on getting to know the family. The judge ordered she be held on three weeks detention and to remain at home with her mother. She’s allowed to attend school, church and any doctor’s appointments.

“Another thing is, I’m strictly telling you, absolutely no driving, any way shape or form,” the judge said.

The 11-year-old’s mother gave her brand-new Kia Sportage’s keys to her daughter to allegedly retrieve a library book from the car. After some time, the mother went outside to find her daughter and car missing.

Thinking her daughter might have been kidnapped, she contacted police, who found the child at the wheel of the SUV. She refused to stop for police.

The girl drove nearly 13 miles from home. In the area of Weston Road and State Road 84, in Sunrise, the girl crashed into a black BMW sedan. The Kia rolled over after the collision. Both drivers were not seriously injured, however.

“I tried my best to avoid her. I tried my best to protect myself in a way, and the reality, she came, she hit my car, and she was being chased by several police officers at the time,” said Richard Champagne, whose car was hit.

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