Michael Wade Propst. Photo via the News Herald.
12 year-old Michael Wade Propst of Panama City has been charged with grand theft school bus after the youth commandeered a yellow kiddie wagon Tuesday morning from the home of its driver (said driver, 29 year-old Brandon Curtis, admitted to leaving his keys in the bus ignition and has been suspended). So where does a plucky tween like Propst take a school bus once he's gained control? Why, to the nearest Wal-Mart, of course. Can you think of another place that has a parking lot large enough to do figure eights in a school bus?
Employees at the Front Beach Road Wal-Mart, fourteen miles away from Propst's starting point (over a bridge even!), spotted the bus in their lot at around 5 A.M. sputtering erratically in no particular direction. Though Propst doesn't remember hitting anything, authorities are concerned about a smear of white paint on the bus's right side that is several feet long. Sounds like someone's fence got jacked, bro.
“We’re all just very grateful the student wasn’t hurt and no one else was hurt," remarked Bay District Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt. "This has been a valuable lesson in securing our buses.”
And so Michael Propst passes into legend as the Kid Who Stole a School Bus. That's your cue, Florida folkies: pen an anthem for this unlikely renegade (disclaimer: kids, don't steal buses, or anything else for that matter).