The mother of a diaper-clad, 3-year-old boy who got behind the wheel of his aunt’s Jeep Wrangler and accidentally put it into gear, sending it crashing into the side of a neighbor’s house, has been cited for failing to properly supervise her child.
The woman, identified by police as Brennan Pennington, of Myrtle Creek, Oregon, was issued the citation after the Tuesday evening incident, which was the second involving the boy and police that day.
At about 9 a.m. the same day, a Myrtle Creek Police office had spotted the boy by himself in the Jeep Wrangler outside his Northwest Second Avenue home. He was in the vehicle by himself for about five minutes, according to police logs.
The officer asked the boy about his parents’ whereabouts, and the boy said they weren’t home but that a relative was asleep inside. According to the log, the officer woke the relative and turned the boy over to him, warning the relative -- who was not named in the log -- that the boy had the keys to the car and it was not secure.
At about 7:30 p.m., police were called to the same scene. They said the boy got into the car again and knocked it out of gear, and it traveled down the street, up over a curb and through the neighbor’s yard, hitting the neighbor’s home. The homeowner was not home, and no one was hurt.
The police log said a 911 caller witnessed the crash and “saw the boy run from the Jeep wearing only a diaper.”
Right afterward the boy “bailed out and ran back home, and when the officer arrived at the house [the boy] was sprawled out on the couch watching cartoons like it was just another day,” Myrtle Creek Police Officer Kevin Taggart told ABC News on Sunday.
ABC News was unable to reach Pennington Sunday evening on a cell phone that was registered to her, according to public records, but in an interview with KPTV, the Jeep’s owner, Amy Mayberry, said Pennington was in the bathroom when the boy went into the vehicle.
Mayberry added that the Jeep, which had a manual transmission, was parked on a slope. Her nephew accidentally knocked the car into neutral, sending it coasting, she told KPTV.
The ticket issued to Pennington was a violation and carried a fine.
The home sustained minor damage and the boy’s mother came to “a civil compromise” with the neighbor, police said.