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Counselor reacts to Morgan County juvenile crime spree

“When those behaviors are this severe and they’ve been going on for a longer period of time, that’s when it gets classified into more of behavior disorder.”
Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 9:04 PM CST
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MORGAN CO., Ala. (WAFF) - Three Morgan County children already accused of vandalizing a Somerville church weeks ago, are now connected to a high-speed chase involving a stolen vehicle Tuesday.

“We don’t see juveniles do one of these things, much less two of these things,” said Mike Swafford with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office.

It all started with a call about runaways Tuesday morning. Morgan County investigators tracked the kids to Warrior, where a stolen debit card was used.

“About that time, we get a call from the state troopers down by Montgomery indicating there had been a high-speed chase and a crash,” said Swafford.

A chase, stretching for almost 40 miles, ended in Prattville where the kids hit multiple cars.

“Once they determined who was in the vehicle, they determined three of the juveniles may have been from Morgan County,” said Swafford.

Investigators have now connected those same children to a vandalism case on a Somerville church. A total of six kids were inside the car. Local counselor Kim Crawford says all children display impulsive behaviors on occasion, but the way these children are acting out is extreme and very concerning.

“When those behaviors are this severe and they’ve been going on for a longer period of time, that’s when it gets classified into more of behavior disorder as opposed to just I’m acting out on a Saturday night,” said Crawford.

Crawford says this behavior needs intervention quickly and the juvenile probation system is not the end all be all.

“It’s not set up to figure out why you did what you did to begin with, and what the issues are and what you’re struggling with, and give you some coping skills to move forward so that you don’t do what you did,” said Crawford.

Crawford says the kids need individual and family therapy to figure out the root of their issue. Troopers say the 14-year-old driver of the car is being charged with receiving stolen property, assault, speeding, attempting to elude and reckless endangerment.

Because of their age, we haven’t been told how the cases of those children were handled in the juvenile court system involving the church vandalism.

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