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Stowaway’s Father: ‘I’m A Parent, I’m Not Perfect’

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(credit: CBS) Reg Chapman
Reg Chapman joined WCCO-TV in May of 2009. He came to WCCO fr...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The father of the 9-year-old north Minneapolis boy who snuck onto a plane to Las Vegas without a boarding pass was emotional as he talked about the problems he knows his son has and his failed attempts to find help.

Last Thursday, the boy made his way onto a Delta flight to Vegas at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. At a press conference on Wednesday, his father, who wished to remain anonymous, spoke to the press about the ordeal.

His father said that day and the days since have been a “heartache” for the family.

He said this was his son’s first time on a plane. They thought he was taking the trash out when he left and got on a light rail train to the airport. Because of multi-state issues, his son won’t be back home in Minneapolis until Friday, where he’ll be placed back with his family.

The boy’s father said he’s asked for help repeatedly but has been told that because the boy is a minor, there’s nothing anyone could do.

“I’m a parent, I’m not perfect,” he said. “We assumed he was at a friend’s house. We had no idea where he was.”

His mother had taken the day off of work to try and find him when he went missing. The mother, who wasn’t at the press conference, issued a statement saying, “I love my son, I miss my son. I want my son home. I feel that people are pushing me for what my son has done.”

She told family representatives from MAD DADS that she’s working with Hennepin County and social services to get some help for her son.

The boy’s father said he’s never been to the airport, so he has no idea how his son was able to navigate the concourse and get on a plane.

They don’t know how many times his son was on a light rail or how many times he went to the airport but he reportedly rode it a few times to figure it out.

He said his son is “not what you would call an honor student. He had his ups and downs.”

His father spoke to his son’s principal before about the boy’s behavioral issues but they needed more help.

“I’m tired of people saying he’s a minor, there’s nothing we can do. There’s something someone can do. I don’t want him hurt. I miss my son. I want my son home,” he said. (Continued…)

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