13-year-old driver pulled over at 2 am was carrying loaded pistol, Florida cops say

It’s not uncommon for intoxicated drivers to be out at 2 a.m., but deputies patrolling in the Florida Panhandle found something completely different when they stopped a suspiciously driven SUV, officials said.

Behind the wheel was a 13-year-old boy — and he was armed with a pistol, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. Walton County is about 55 miles east of Pensacola.

The traffic stop happened Thursday, Feb. 22, after a deputy “witnessed an SUV driving erratically down Highway 98,” south of Santa Rosa Beach, officials said.

“The driver took off but struck a large construction barrel as the vehicle entered a construction zone,” the sheriff’s office said.

“The deputy was finally able to get the vehicle stopped and discovered a 13-year-old behind the wheel. A search of the SUV revealed a fully loaded 38 special revolver, a vape, and a marijuana pipe.”

Details of who owns the SUV and pistol were not released, and deputies did not reveal where the boy was headed at 2 a.m. on a school night.

He was issued criminal citations for driving without a license and being a minor in possession of a firearm, officials said.

“The criminal citation is the same as an arrest without being physically booked,” the sheriff’s office said.

“We (then) returned him to his guardians. No, he was not allowed to drive away.”

Investigators say school resource deputies would follow up with the family, and the boy was placed in a remote schooling program (distance learning) away from other students.

The minimum age to have a driver’s license in Florida is 16, and you must be 21 to own a firearm, the state reports.

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