COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — Weeks after a Columbus 15-year-old faced a judge for truancy in Franklin County Juvenile Court, officers arrested him in a carjacking case that happened in the parking lot of a Gahanna grocery store.
According to the complaint filed in February, the young teen missed at least 30 days of school at Eastmoor Academy within Columbus City Schools. The dates span from the first semester through January of this year when CCS was holding full remote learning for its high school students. In the truancy complaint, the teen’s mother was also charged with the offense of failure to send her child to school.
In March, police said the teen knocked over a woman getting into her car in the Kroger parking lot on Hamilton Road. They said he and his young friend took the victim’s purse and stole her car. He was arrested two days later and admitted to stealing or carjacking 50 other cars in separate cases, according to Gahanna Police Chief Jeff Spence.
"He admitted to 50 other similar events, car thefts and carjackings. That's 50," Chief Spence told reporters Thursday.
Along with truancy, the 15-year-old’s record also consists of obstructing official business in 2019 and robbery and theft in 2021.
This week in Whitehall, officers stopped another stolen car after a 20 minutes police chase that ended in Columbus. Officers said a 13-year-old driving the car also had a gun in the car door. According to the police report, this young teen also admitted to more recent car thefts and said he got the gun from someone on the street to “look cool.” ABC6/FOX28 found ten prior cases in the boy’s past like petty theft, violating curfew and criminal damaging when he was ten years of age. Charges escalated over the last three years to also include rioting, breaking and entering and harassment.
Columbus police charged another young teen for illegally carrying a gun this month while with his 14-year-old friend at the Walmart store on Morse Road. Police said the boys got into an argument with an adult in the parking lot and that adult opened fire. Shannon Knighten, 23, was charged with shooting the 14-year-old boy in the head.
Family members tell ABC6/FOX28 that he remains in the hospital nearly two week later. Despite that, Knighten has yet to be indicted in the case by a grand jury. The 15-year-old charged with carrying a concealed weapon has previous cases of criminal trespass and aggravated burglary.
ABC6/FOX28 asked the courts for the outcomes of these past juvenile cases and previous rehabilitation plans for the teenagers. The courts indicated it would provide this information next week.