Judge Issues Wake-Up Call To Youth On Car Theft Charge
Semaj Booker, age 11, has a record
of sneaking onto airline flights, car theft, broken curfew, lying
to police, burglary of an apartment, and destroying a mattress in
Pierce County Deputy Prosecutor Fred C. Wist told Superior Court
Judge Frank E. Cuthbertson, "Mr. Booker has never been held
accountable for his actions. The time has come, your honor, for
this court to say enough is enough."
Judge Cuthbertson agreed and found the boy guilty of felony car
theft, revoking a previously deferred disposition of Booker's
conviction for stealing a neighbor's car and leading police on a
high-speed chase. The boy was also ordered to pay $100 to a
crime-victim compensation fund, make $3,000 in restitution to the
car owner, and perform four hours of community service, the
Associated Press reported.
"I know this is difficult for you to understand at 11 years
old," Cuthbertson said to Booker. "Whether or not you have a
criminal record makes a big difference in whether or not you can
get a good job and help your family and have the things you
"It's time for you to step up and stop all the drama and stop
all the nonsense and stop making these bad decisions and be a
person who's going to help your family and is going to help our
community. For some reason, I still believe you can do it,"
As ANN reported, then nine-year old Booker had
federal and airline officials scratching their heads after he
slipped onto two flights on his journey to Texas from Seattle in
January 2007, passing through airport security and onto flights
from Seattle to Phoenix, and from Phoenix to San Antonio.
Reported to have been trying to reach his grandfather in Dallas,
Southwest Airlines said the boy was issued a boarding pass at
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after giving information that
matched a reservation and telling employees his mother was already
in the boarding area.
Airline employees stopped him from boarding another flight from
San Antonio to Dallas when he could not explain why he did not have
a boarding pass, said David Hebert, a San Antonio International
The brazen boy tried talking his way onto airliners
once again in May 2008, according to the
Transportation Security Administration. The AP reported security
tapes showed Booker passing through a metal detector at a
checkpoint at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Sea-Tac airport spokesman Perry Cooper said the boy was detained
while trying to board a Southwest Airlines flight to Sacramento,
CA, claiming to be traveling with a man in front of him in line.
TSA is still investigating how he got that far without
showing a boarding pass at the security checkpoint.