Boys drive train, face charges
The two teens had walked away from a juvenile detention home.
NELSONVILLE, Ohio (AP) -- An early morning joy ride on a train engine -- with the whistle blowing -- ended back in juvenile detention for two boys who walked away from an unlocked detention home, authorities said.
The boys managed to start up the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway locomotive early Tuesday morning after breaking through a side door into the building that houses the engine, said Sgt. Edward Kurtz of Nelsonville police. No cars were attached to the engine, which usually hauls tourists.
The tracks go by the windows of the city police station, and Hocking College police also noticed the engine rolling down the tracks.
"That's very unusual. The train runs only on weekends," Kurtz said.
He said the boys rode about 12 miles to Logan, blowing the train whistle and waking residents, stopping by a grocery store off U.S. 23, where Athens County deputy sheriffs took them into custody.
Matthew Burks, 16, of Proctorville, and Zachary Walden, 13, of Portsmouth, are charged with juvenile counts of burglary, theft and escape, police said.
Burks, who had some knowledge of trains, was driving the engine, Kurtz said.
"He got it started and away they went," he said.
The boys had walked away late Monday from Hocking Valley Community Residential Center in Nelsonville, where youths stay on the honor system instead of going to a state detention center after juvenile felony convictions, said Valerie Roth, assistant director.
Nelsonville is about 60 miles southeast of Columbus.