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Stowaway’s dad says requested help for problem son

MINNEAPOLIS — The father of a 9-year-old boy who evaded security and sneaked onto a flight from Minneapolis to Las Vegas told reporters Wednesday he has been frustrated in his efforts to get help for his troubled son.

The father spoke at a news conference on condition of anonymity to protect his son. Sobbing at times, he that said his son had a history of misbehavior but that officials had told him they could not help because his son had not done anything bad enough yet.

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‘‘I’m tired of people saying he’s a minor, there’s nothing we can do,” said the father, his face hidden by a baseball cap pulled down low. “There’s something somebody can do.’’

The boy took a light-rail train to the airport last Thursday and blended in with a family to get past security, slipped past a gate agent, and took an empty seat on the Delta Air Lines flight. The flight crew turned him over to police in Las Vegas, where he was still being held Wednesday.

The father spoke at the office of a community group called Mad Dads, whose president, V.J. Smith, said county child protection workers told him the boy will be reunited with his family Friday, not kept in custody. Smith added that the county would ‘‘wrap some services around the family.’’

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