LAKE PARK, Fla.-- A 7-year-old boy who took his grandmother's car on a joyride last month has been taken for a mental health evaluation after he allegedly beat her up inside a South Florida Wal-Mart, WPBF News 25 reported.
Latarian Milton told WPBF on April 28 that he took his grandmother's Dodge Durango on a joyride because he was mad at his mother and because he enjoyed doing "bad things."
"I wanted to do it because it's fun. It's fun to do bad things," Milton said. "I wanted to do hood-rat stuff for my friend."
Police said the boy and a friend drove several miles through Lake Park and Palm Beach Gardens on April 27 during rush hour before finally coming to a crashing halt.
Along the way, police said Milton ran over two mailboxes, hit two parked cars in a Costco parking lot and struck two moving cars near a Wal-Mart. Milton could have faced grand theft charges, but police said last week that they would not charge the boy.
Milton's grandmother, Vikkita Stratford, told WPBF that the 7-year-old took his mischievous activities to a new level Monday when she said he beat her up inside a Lake Park Wal-Mart.
According to Stratford, the problem began when Milton asked his grandmother for some chicken wings. When she refused, Milton walked over over to the counter and ordered them anyway.
Stratford said that when she confronted him about it, Milton just snapped.
"He just started hitting me -- just started hitting me in front of the whole Wal-Mart. Every one in there was upset," Stratford said.
Stratford told WPBF that Milton hit her stomach, legs and "wherever he could reach me."
Riviera Beach police picked up Milton from his home and took him to an area hospital for a mental health evaluation Monday afternoon, WPBF reported. The 7-year-old can be held for up to 72 hours while he is evaluated by mental health officials.
Stratford said that she believes Milton's problems are due to a bad atmosphere with his parents.
"I know what causes the behavior, cause all he's ever seen was his parents do physical and abusive and verbal things, and I don't want him to continue in this direction so I'm doing the best I can to get him the help," she told WPBF.
Stratford said that she is worried about what will happen once the 7-year-old is released from his evaluation. She also told WPBF that she is making sure that Milton won't have access to her rental car while her SUV is being repaired.
"When I first got the rental he said,'Oh, you know, let me take this for a spin," Stratford said. "So now I just sleep with the keys. I lock them up."