Okeechobee 10-year-old accused of stealing pickup, driving 100 mph and crashing into ditch

A 10-year-old Okeechobee boy was arrested Wednesday on charges that he stole a pickup truck and drove at speeds of up to 100 mph.

The boy, and a young girl with him, were picked up by deputies from the Martin County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) after Wyatt Joel Baumhardt had apparently wrecked the 1999 Dodge pickup and left it in a ditch.

Baumhardt, N.E. 12th St., was later arrested by an Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) deputy on a felony charge of grand theft-auto. He was also arrested on misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license.

The boy was booked into the Okeechobee County Jail then released into the custody of his parents.

Deputy Devon Satallante indicated in his arrest report the girl with Baumhardt was not charged.

Neither child was seriously injured when Baumhardt apparently lost control of the pickup and ran into a ditch on Warfield Road in Martin County.

According to the deputy’s arrest report he first saw the truck May 3 around 7:50 a.m. on N.E. Eighth Street.

“It was traveling at a high rate of speed. I was unable to see the driver or if there were any other occupants in the vehicle,” noted the deputy.

He turned around and began to follow the truck with his emergency lights on in an attempt to stop the vehicle.

The driver of the truck, later identified as Baumhardt, turned onto N.E. 60th Avenue then turned on to S.R. 70 East and turned onto the road parallel to the construction zone, stated the report.

Deputy Satallante went on to state he then lost sight of the truck in about the 1000 block of S.R. 70 East.

“Martin County located the vehicle, unoccupied, in a ditch off Warfield Road in Indiantown,” stated the deputy. “Martin County located Wyatt and a 12-year-old girl walking down the road not too far from the vehicle.”

Later, the girl reportedly told OCSO Deputy Sergeant Rosemary Farless that Wyatt picked her up at her bus stop and drove “… her down several roads at speeds up to 100 miles per hour.”

He was driving so erratically she hit her head on the ceiling of the truck’s cab, added Deputy Satallante’s report.

While on S.R. 710, Baumhardt apparently was “… swerving in between lanes and was driving into on-coming traffic,” before he lost control of the pickup, the girl reportedly told deputies.

The truck was later returned to its owner.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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