A 12-year-old boy suffered a serious head injury this week after his 13-year-old buddy wrecked a stolen car during a Tacoma crime spree, police said.
“This was a bad deal all around,” police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said Thursday.
Pierce County prosecutors have charged the 13-year-old with five crimes, including felony counts of vehicular assault and car theft. Not-guilty pleas were entered on his behalf in Pierce County juvenile court Thursday.
The News Tribune could not determine the 12-year-old’s condition Thursday. Prosecutors wrote in court documents the boy’s injuries were life threatening.
The action began at the University of Puget Sound campus about 12:05 a.m. Tuesday when a security guard saw someone acting suspiciously near a Nissan Xterra, Cool said. The person climbed into the Xterra as the guard approached, then the car drove off, she said.
The guard found broken glass where the Xterra had been parked, realized it had just been stolen and called police.
About two hours later, a worker at the Metropolitan Market on North Proctor spotted a group of boys loading watermelons from a display outside the store into an Xterra, Cool said.
“They had driven around downtown for a couple of hours and were bored,” she said, citing a police report. “They got hungry and decided to go get some watermelons.”
The market employee surmised they were stealing the melons and used his own car to block the exit from the store’s parking lot, Cool said.
The boys climbed into the Xterra and sped out of the parking lot, slamming into the employee’s car in the process.
The employee, who wasn’t hurt, followed the Xterra down North 28th Street, where it went out of control and hit a tree in the 3900 block, Cool said.
Two boys jumped out and ran off. The market employee found the 12-year-old lying in the grass with a “piece of vehicle debris sticking out of his forehead,” Cool said.
The boy told the employee, “I’m dying,” according to court documents.
He later was taken to the hospital for surgery.
Police later tracked down and arrested the alleged driver and a 15-year-old male friend also believed to have been in the Xterra.
The 15-year-old has been charged with taking a motor vehicle without the owner’s permission. He will be arraigned this month.
He told police he and the 12-year-old hid in the bushes while the 13-year-old boy stole the car, court records show. They were walking home when the 13-year-old drove by and picked them up, he said.
The 13-year-old is being held in the Remann Hall juvenile detention center. The 15-year-old has been released until his next court date.Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644