Autistic Boy, 13, Swipes Car to Catch Cross-Country Flight

"I can't believe he pulled this off," says mom

By Brian Hamacher
|  Thursday, Apr 30, 2009  |  Updated 6:30 AM CDT
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Cleared For Takeoff

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13-year-old Kenton Weaver took a Southwest flight from Florida to California, without telling his parents.

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Cleared For Takeoff

Dad says his 13-year-old son drove himself to the airport to catch a flight.
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Kenton Weaver had a ticket to ride, and he was making his flight no matter what.

So the 13-year-old autistic kid left his Boca Raton home, took his dad's Ford Explorer to the Ft. Lauderdale Airport and hopped on a plane going to California.

He was heading to see his mom, who lives across the country near Fresno, Calif., and he was getting there come hell or high water. 

"I can't believe he pulled this off," mom Kim Casey told the Palm Beach Post. "I'm flabbergasted."

Weaver was found roaming in the San Jose Airport last night by police, but his father, Dean Weaver, would like to know how a 13-year-old with no passport, driver's license or photo ID was able to buy a ticket and get past airport security. He says the teen traveler, who used his credit card to book the flight, can be a handful.

"I think I'd like for him to stay there for a while. I'm obviously not set up here to keep him, though I've tried," the elder Weaver told the Post.

Casey said it wasn't the first time her son has flown the coop.

"Even at four or five years old we've had problems with this," she said. "He's very bright, but at the same time has very little common sense and few inhibitions." 

Diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, Kenton has a fascination with planes, which his father says is a near obsession.

"He'll do anything to go to an airport," Weaver said. "He wants to be a pilot. He applies for jobs at the airport. He collects (toy) planes. He's just fascinated." 

Though he takes medicine to address mood swings, Kenton had twice in the last week attempted to get to the airport, having to be taken home from the Tri-Rail station by police.

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