Imagine you work at a McDonald’s drive-thru. It’s an ordinary day in your Ohio neighborhood when you hear a strange voice coming through your headset. Your shift is almost over so you shrug it off and go back to work. Moments later, you slide open the second window to give the customer his order and you find an 8-year-old boy in the driver’s seat with his 4-year-old sister riding shotgun.
That was the bemusing scene in East Palestine on Sunday, when police say a young boy went Harold and Kumar for a late-night cheeseburger. His father had gone to bed early and his mom was resting on the couch, so the youngster selflessly took matters into his own hands. He went to the place kids who grew up with the internet go when they want to teach themselves: YouTube.
East Palestine police officer Jacob Koehler told the Weirton Daily Times the boy learned how to drive after watching YouTube videos, “I think there is a good teaching point here. With the way technology is … kids will learn how to do anything and everything. He probably looked it up for five minutes and then said it was time to go.”
When he felt he’d seen enough, the child snatched his parent’s keys and jumped into their one-ton work van for a mile-and-a-half mile spin. The child miraculously navigated his way past four intersections to the fast-food chain without disobeying a single traffic law (except driving). Forced to stand up while driving, the boy kept to the speed limit, executed a perfect left turn into the drive-thru, and stopped an appropriate distance away from the window—skills grown adults aren’t even capable of when hangry.
“It was remarkable,” Koehler told Inside Edition. “He got him and his sister to McDonald’s without hitting anything or running any red lights.”
The 8-year-old and his sister bought a cheeseburger, nuggets, and fries with money they’d taken from a piggy bank. The folks at the drive-thru shockingly let the children drive on thinking they were being pranked by parents who were sitting in the back.
“I was expecting to get call after call about mailboxes being knocked over, stupid stuff like that,” Koehler said. “But he didn’t hit a single thing.”
Fortunately, they were recognized by a family friend who was eating inside the restaurant. They contacted the children’s grandparents who took them to the police station as the duo finished up their well-deserved cheeseburgers.
The cops ruled out neglect as the boy fessed up to eating three meals that day. Their parents picked them up from the police station, and no charges were filed.