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Runaway, 9, Sneaks on Flight to Texas
www.ajc.com ^ | 01/17/07 | Associated Press

Posted on 01/17/2007 11:09:39 AM PST by rawhide

LAKEWOOD, Wash. — A 9-year-old boy with a history of stealing cars and running away sneaked onto a plane bound for Texas, getting caught after flubbing an airport connection, officials said.

Semaj Booker apparently found a Southwest Airlines boarding card and made it through airport security Tuesday, hopping two separate flights but landing in San Antonio, Texas — short of his Dallas destination, police said.

"The only thing I have to offer on that is that were looking into it," Southwest spokeswoman Beth Harbin said.

The fourth-grader remained Wednesday in juvenile custody in San Antonio. He had been trying to get to his grandfather in Dallas, where he used to live.

The boy was unhappy after his family moved to Lakewood, outside Tacoma. His odyssey began Sunday when he stole a car that was left running outside a neighbor's house, only to be spotted by police near the interchange of Interstate 5 and State Route 512.

Police pursued Semaj at speeds up to 90 mph until he took an exit and the engine blew, after which the car went over a curb and coasted into a tree. He refused to come out of the car, so officers broke a window to unlock a door and immediately recognized him as a frequent runaway and car thief, Lakewood police Lt. David B. Guttu said.

Last month he also crashed a stolen car before being caught by police in Tacoma, and more recently he was caught in Seattle in a stolen car that had run out of gas, said his mother, Sakinah Booker.

She believes he learned to drive from playing video games on a PlayStation.

Booker said she had hoped to soon move her four sons back to Dallas, but Semaj grew tired of waiting.

Semaj was "incredibly motivated to get to Texas," Guttu said. "He doesn't want to live in Washington state."

Booker said her son dislikes the neighborhood where the family lives and is afraid of a sex offender who lives nearby.

"He does not like it here at all," she said.


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: airlinesecurity; airportinsecurity; airportsecurity; badbabynames; noplaceliketexas; precociouscriminal; runaway; semajbooker; semajisjamesbkwards; southwestairlines; theantijames; tsa; wheresdearolddad; whyyessemajisjames
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1 posted on 01/17/2007 11:09:40 AM PST by rawhide
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To: rawhide
Another story about this kid:

Missing boy returns home

STACEY MULICK; The News Tribune
Published: January 3rd, 2007 07:34 AM

A 9-year-old Lakewood boy who’d been missing since Monday night returned home early Wednesday, Lakewood police reported. Semaj Tremone Booker, who has a recent history of running away from home, was safe and unharmed after he came home at 3 a.m., Lt. Dave Guttu said. The boy told officers he’d made a trip to Tacoma’s East Side and started to walk home Tuesday night.

Booker was last seen in the area of 115th and Bridgeport Way in Lakewood about 5 p.m. Monday. His mother told police he’d never been gone overnight.

source: http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/updates/story/6307749p-5500139c.html

2 posted on 01/17/2007 11:15:08 AM PST by rawhide
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To: rawhide

Ahhh today's yoots......


3 posted on 01/17/2007 11:15:35 AM PST by lovecraft (Specialization is for insects.)
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To: rawhide

Speaks volumes about the abilities of TSA. Get rid of TSA!


4 posted on 01/17/2007 11:16:39 AM PST by lilylangtree (Veni, Vidi, Vici)
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To: semaj

Ping


5 posted on 01/17/2007 11:18:15 AM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: Tax-chick; Moose4; bitt; stands2reason; B-Chan

Semaj Tremone ping!

Wanna bet Semaj's mamma's baby daddy is named James?


6 posted on 01/17/2007 11:18:28 AM PST by Xenalyte (Anything is possible when you don't understand how anything happens.)
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To: rawhide

GTT


7 posted on 01/17/2007 11:19:31 AM PST by Deguello
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To: rawhide

Didn't I see where Aviation Security Alert is "HIGH"?

LOL......we're screwed if a 4th grader can just hop a flight without being detected.


8 posted on 01/17/2007 11:21:05 AM PST by panaxanax
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To: rawhide; AnnaZ
God bless this little guy! He's just trying to get to Texas! Smart kid!

We can look past the illegalities, I think, and give him "creativity" points instead!

9 posted on 01/17/2007 11:21:41 AM PST by sam_paine (X .................................)
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To: rawhide
More on the posted story:

Semaj is no stranger to car theft, Guttu said. In December, Tacoma police said they caught him after he crashed a stolen car. More recently, he took a car, drove to Seattle, then was taken into custody after he ran out of gas, said Sakinah Booker.

She believes he learned how to drive from playing video games on a PlayStation.

“He’s basically out of a booster seat,” Guttu said, adding that a police report listed Semaj as 4 feet 9 inches tall and all of 80 pounds.

Earlier, Sakinah Booker told police that she needed help with her son, and when they found him, they should take him to Remann Hall juvenile jail in Tacoma.

“I told (the officer), don’t bring him back home. … It’s too much,” she said.

After taking him to be checked for injuries at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and Health Center in Tacoma, Semaj was brought to Remann Hall, Guttu said. Officials declined to detain him because he didn’t score high enough on the facility’s risk assessment test and because of his age, said Shelly Maluo, juvenile court administrator.

“Putting a 9-year-old in our facility with our population is not a good thing,” she said.

Police then took him to a Child Protective Services facility, where he was turned away again because of his age, Guttu said.

About 11 p.m. Sunday night, Sakinah Booker took her son back. By 6 a.m. Monday, she had reported him missing again, she said. Police listed him as missing, and received a call Tuesday from a juvenile facility in San Antonio saying, “We’ve got your runaway,” Guttu said.

Officials took Semaj into custody Tuesday as he stepped off the flight from Phoenix, but Guttu said he’s not sure how they figured out what was going on. A call to San Antonio police Tuesday was not returned.

After giving officials a false name – a tactic his mother said he used on police in the Seattle and Tacoma car incidents – Semaj eventually told them his real name, Guttu said.

Fred Wist, Pierce County deputy prosecutor in charge of the juvenile unit, said he was reviewing the police reports Tuesday afternoon from the police pursuit. “It is very seldom that we see kids this young,” he said.

Sakinah Booker said she hadn’t spoken with her son since he’d reached Texas, but that she’d been told he ended up in San Antonio instead of Dallas because he boarded the wrong plane in Phoenix. She said she had hoped to soon move her four sons back to Dallas, but Semaj grew tired of waiting. She’d also said she considered sending him to live with her sister in Illinois.

When asked how he might have gotten a seat on two flights, she said, “Your guess is as good as mine. I think they just let him on.”

http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/story/6326838p-5515246c.html

10 posted on 01/17/2007 11:23:17 AM PST by rawhide
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To: rawhide

If only this boys creativity and drive could be harnessed for good.....


11 posted on 01/17/2007 11:23:36 AM PST by HamiltonJay
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To: Xenalyte
Wanna bet Semaj's mamma's baby daddy is named James?

Wow - you are good!!! I thought that was a weird name but never tried it backward.
12 posted on 01/17/2007 11:25:42 AM PST by ninergold3 (Jesus Loves Me This I Know - For The Bible Tells Me So)
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Didn't score high enough? He stole two cars and flew by himself from Washington to Texas. That doesn't score high enough? Does he have to shoot a cop to get reeled in?


13 posted on 01/17/2007 11:27:54 AM PST by wastedyears ("Gun control is hitting your target accurately." - Richard Marcinko)
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To: rawhide

I see a movie deal in the making.


14 posted on 01/17/2007 11:28:20 AM PST by lastchance (Hug your babies.)
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To: HamiltonJay

That was my first thought, too. I sure hope he makes it.
The mom sounds like a real winner, maybe he's just desperate to get away from her.


15 posted on 01/17/2007 11:28:59 AM PST by ishabibble (ALL-AMERICAN INFIDEL)
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To: rawhide
>A 9-year-old boy with a history of stealing cars and running away sneaked onto a plane bound for Texas

I thought young children
only did illegal things
if predatory

bad adults brain wash
the little tykes. That's what some
Freepers seem to think . . .

16 posted on 01/17/2007 11:30:41 AM PST by theFIRMbss
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To: Xenalyte
"Wanna bet Semaj's mamma's baby daddy is named James?"

Nice catch!

I tried to figure out what nationality had the name "Semaj" in its vocabulary but didn't recognize the obvious.

17 posted on 01/17/2007 11:32:13 AM PST by albee (Okay. so he missed aThe best thing you can do for the poor is.....not be one of them. - Eric Hoffer)
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To: rawhide

So after the cops broke the window, recognized him as a frequent runaway, did they just let him walk?

How did he get to the airport and hop a plane to Texas?


18 posted on 01/17/2007 11:33:43 AM PST by Delta 21 ( MKC USCG - ret)
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To: ninergold3
>never tried it backward

Maybe the mother
was trying to make the kid
where this guy came from . . .

19 posted on 01/17/2007 11:35:33 AM PST by theFIRMbss
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To: Delta 21

See post #10


20 posted on 01/17/2007 11:35:57 AM PST by rawhide
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To: rawhide

I feel so safe flying knowing that our government is watching out for us. I guess frisking down old ladies in wheel chairs is too much of a distraction for them to bother watching anything else.

Like no one would question a kid all by himself; with no escort?


21 posted on 01/17/2007 11:37:38 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: theFIRMbss
>Maybe the mother / was trying to make the kid / where this guy came from . . .

Maybe the mother
was trying to send the kid
where this guy came from . . .

22 posted on 01/17/2007 11:38:23 AM PST by theFIRMbss
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To: rawhide

Well I can just see the next Southwest Airlines- wanna get away from it all advertisement!!

Bing.


23 posted on 01/17/2007 11:39:00 AM PST by rod1
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To: rawhide

My High School freshman journalism teacher would have ate this guy for lunch! What a crappy story. No by line either.


24 posted on 01/17/2007 11:39:08 AM PST by Delta 21 ( MKC USCG - ret)
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To: Xenalyte
Wanna bet Semaj's mamma's baby daddy is named James?

Dang, girl! You got it before I did!

Glad the kid's dad wasn't named "Dan."

25 posted on 01/17/2007 11:40:29 AM PST by paulat
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To: sam_paine
God bless this little guy! He's just trying to get to Texas! Smart kid!

We can look past the illegalities, I think, and give him "creativity" points instead!

I'm with ya. God bless him.

Semaj was "incredibly motivated to get to Texas," Guttu said. "He doesn't want to live in Washington state."

Booker said her son dislikes the neighborhood where the family lives and is afraid of a sex offender who lives nearby.

"He does not like it here at all," she said.


26 posted on 01/17/2007 11:41:37 AM PST by AnnaZ (I keep 2 magnums in my desk.One's a gun and I keep it loaded.Other's a bottle and it keeps me loaded)
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To: Libertina; Just Lori

Escape from WA ping!


27 posted on 01/17/2007 11:42:37 AM PST by Issaquahking (Trust can't be bought)
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To: rawhide
Police pursued Semaj at speeds up to 90 mph until he took an exit and the engine blew, after which the car went over a curb and coasted into a tree.

The only reason the cops caught him is because his engine blew.

Put him in NASCAR.

28 posted on 01/17/2007 11:43:42 AM PST by lowbridge ("I wonder if he's in touch with the critics out there, like Matt Damon, the actor" -Chris Matthews)
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To: Xenalyte
Wanna bet Semaj's mamma's baby daddy is named James?

Wanna bet Semaj's mamma's suspected baby daddy is named James?

29 posted on 01/17/2007 11:46:29 AM PST by from occupied ga (Your most dangerous enemy is your own government)
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To: Delta 21
My High School freshman journalism teacher would have ate eaten this guy for lunch!

What did he/she do to you?

30 posted on 01/17/2007 11:56:57 AM PST by Richard Kimball
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To: Richard Kimball

HA!

He learned me a hole bunch by the time I gradgeated!


31 posted on 01/17/2007 12:00:44 PM PST by Delta 21 ( MKC USCG - ret)
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To: Delta 21

You wouldn't believe how many times I checked my post back to you for spelling and grammar errors.


32 posted on 01/17/2007 12:07:22 PM PST by Richard Kimball
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To: rawhide

Now there's a young'n that needs a whoopin.

I wouldn't want to send him after a hickory, though.


33 posted on 01/17/2007 12:15:54 PM PST by HipShot ("Remember the first rule of gunfighting... have a gun." --Colonel Jeff Cooper)
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To: Xenalyte

LOL! I'd have missed that :-).


34 posted on 01/17/2007 12:16:37 PM PST by Tax-chick ("I don't know you, but I love who you seem to be.")
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To: Delta 21
My High School freshman journalism teacher would have ate this guy for lunch!

Are you sure? Your high school seems to have been a bit weak on grammar.

35 posted on 01/17/2007 12:18:56 PM PST by PAR35
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To: Xenalyte

The parents might have gotten the idea from seeing Nomar Garciaparra on TV (Nomar = Ramon backwards), but Nomar's major league debut was in the summer of 1996, so possibly after Semaj was named.


36 posted on 01/17/2007 12:26:12 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: Verginius Rufus

Or any of the idiots running around named Nevaeh.

I am aware that "Senga" enjoyed a brief vogue across the pond.

Thank God for brevity, says I.


37 posted on 01/17/2007 12:29:28 PM PST by Xenalyte (Anything is possible when you don't understand how anything happens.)
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To: paulat

Or Elohssa.


38 posted on 01/17/2007 1:35:01 PM PST by manic4organic
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To: rawhide

Criminal prodigy ping.


39 posted on 01/17/2007 1:38:26 PM PST by Graymatter
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To: rawhide

I'd hire this kid in a minute. Born entrepreneur. Most likely the story about the Missouri kids was too muchy for him given the pedophile on his block.


40 posted on 01/17/2007 1:53:15 PM PST by montag813
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To: montag813

The enterprising young Semaj is nine. I would lay odds that he has never seen a newscast in his life.


41 posted on 01/17/2007 1:54:49 PM PST by Xenalyte (Anything is possible when you don't understand how anything happens.)
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To: lastchance
I see a movie deal in the making.

I think more a TV show "Samaj Tries to..." I bet this guy could get to Bin Laden if we gave him enough technology.

42 posted on 01/17/2007 1:55:55 PM PST by montag813
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To: rawhide
Earlier, Sakinah Booker told police that she needed help with her son, and when they found him, they should take him to Remann Hall juvenile jail in Tacoma.

What a bitch. How about moving your son away from the pedophile you lazy creep!

43 posted on 01/17/2007 1:58:01 PM PST by montag813
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To: rawhide

As the bumper sticker says: "I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as soon as I could"!


44 posted on 01/17/2007 2:15:17 PM PST by BnBlFlag (Deo Vindice/Semper Fidelis "Ya gotta saddle up your boys; Ya gotta draw a hard line")
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To: rawhide

...and a former car thief.


45 posted on 01/17/2007 3:18:41 PM PST by devane617 (It's McCain and a Rat -- Now what?)
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To: rawhide
[quote from article] "She’d also said she considered sending him to live with her sister in Illinois" ... right up until the split second it took for her sister to tell her to go get stuffed.
46 posted on 01/17/2007 3:29:47 PM PST by Titan Magroyne ("Y'know, I've always thought of politics as show business for ugly people." Jay Leno:Al Gore 11/29)
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To: rawhide

I wonder if a few good swats applied to his backside when he got home would be appropriate...

Because if I did this...(In my day) I had better hope that my cuteness reigned in one of the cute (Southwest hotpants) stewardesses (yes thats what they used to call them when I flew un-accompanied) would have taken me home and just dunked me in her coffee...

Yes I did have a bit of an ego when I was that age...And I was extremely cute...

I just don't know what happened to me after that phase...

Maybe it was the spankings...Yep...Thats what it was...


47 posted on 01/17/2007 4:14:27 PM PST by stevie_d_64 (Houston Area Texans (I've always been hated))
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To: montag813

Sponsored by Guiness Beer!!!

BRILLIANT!!!


48 posted on 01/17/2007 4:16:17 PM PST by stevie_d_64 (Houston Area Texans (I've always been hated))
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To: Delta 21
So after the cops broke the window, recognized him as a frequent runaway, did they just let him walk?

How did he get to the airport and hop a plane to Texas?

I asked myself the same thing.

Horrible news writing, inn't it?

49 posted on 01/17/2007 5:03:54 PM PST by Mr. Buzzcut (metal god ... visit The Ponderosa .... www.vandelay.com ... DEATH BEFORE DHIMMITUDE)
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To: Xenalyte
What would the Mom have named Semaj if the father's name was "OTTO"?

Just a passing thought.

50 posted on 01/17/2007 10:11:50 PM PST by albee (Okay. so he missed aThe best thing you can do for the poor is.....not be one of them. - Eric Hoffer)
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