Drunk 12-year-old arrested after stealing car, high-speed chase

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ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (KKTV) - A drunk 12-year-old girl led New Mexico law enforcement on a high-speed chase with three friends in tow, at one point nearly crashing into two police cruisers.

Police were stunned after a 12-year-old girl emerged from the car they had been chasing. She and her three equally-young friends were all drunk, and according to investigators riding around in a car stolen from the driver's grandpa. (Photo: Alamogordo Police Department/KRQE)

Alamogordo police said considering the ingredients involved, the chase ended as well as it could.

"For young folks to get a hold of a) alcohol, and then b) a vehicle, and then adding them both together -- normally this situation is very ... often it doesn't work out as well as it did in this case,” Police Chief Brian Peete told CBS Albuquerque.

Officers were on an unrelated call when the girl's car caught their attention. When trying to pull it over, the car peeled off, prompting a pursuit down U.S. Highway 70 to U.S. Highway 54. Little did police know at the time that they were chasing a car driven by a preteen, with three 12 and 13-year-olds as passengers.

The young driver lost control when turning onto Highway 54, crashed into a street sign and narrowly missed colliding with two cruisers. Officers surrounded the vehicle at that point, yelling at the girls to put their hands up, while one officer cracked his baton against the driver's window. The 12-year-old driver finally exited the car with her hands up.

An officer's body-cam captured it all on video.

Police say the girl was from Tularosa, a small town 12 miles northwest of Alamogordo. She allegedly admitted to stealing her grandfather's car after he fell asleep, picking up her friends, and somehow getting her hands on a bottle of Smirnoff and hard iced teas. Both were found in the car by police.

In police tapes obtained by CBS Albuquerque, the driver's father told officers the family didn't keep alcohol in their home, and he didn't know where the girls would have gotten the beverages from.

"If you've got to keep her in jail tonight, if you think it's right, do it," he told police.

The four girls were charged with underage drinking, while the driver was handed additional charges for driving while intoxicated and leading police on a chase.