Father of boy, 9, who sneaked onto Vegas flight sobs as he describes how he begged for help with his troubled son but was told child 'hasn't done enough wrong'
- Father of boy, 9, who boarded Delta flight from Minneapolis to Las Vegas on Thursday morning speaks out
- Says his son is not an angel and has behavioral problems
- Questions the role of security in letting his son pass through checks
- He passed three levels of checks before flight crew got suspicious mid-air
- Mother tells MailOnline she's shocked at the level of interest his antics have caused
- The family has been subject of four child protection assessments this year
- Pictures emerge of the damage he caused when he stole and crashed a truck two days before he bypassed airport security
The father of a nine-year-old boy who sneaked onto a plane from Minneapolis to Las Vegas sobbed today as he described how the boy's family had asked numerous times for help with their troubled son but were told he hadn't 'done enough' wrong.
At a press conference, the father, wearing a black hoodie and baseball cap pulled down over his face, said the past week since their son got through three levels of security and boarded a Delta flight had been 'heartbreak' for the family.
'I've been asking for help... Somebody please help me. Please,' the father said, his shoulders shaking and his sobs clearly audible under his hoodie. The man said authorities refused to help with the child's behavioral problems because he was a minor.
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Heartbreak: At a press conference this afternoon, the father, pictured, with a black hoodie and baseball cap pulled down over his face, said the family were 'heartbroken' when they learned what their son had done
V.J. Smith of anti-violence group MAD DADS sat next to the distraught father during the emotionally charged briefing and read a statement from the boy's mother.
'I love my son, I miss my son. I want my son home,' the mother said in the statement. 'I feel people are pushing me about what my son did.'
Smith went on to say that the mother 'realizes he's done some things that are wrong but she doesn't want to see her son hurt and she has been asking for help with her son but no one was willing to help.'
Smith said the latest incident - which has made international news headlines - will see the child get the help he needs, adding that he and the parents had already been in contact with their county's social services programs.
'They've been asking for help,' he said. 'They're struggling. But people keep saying [the boy] hasn't done enough,' Smith told the Star Tribune. 'I think he's done enough now.'
Smith said the family, which moved to Chicago from Minneapolis seven years ago, were overwhelmed by the attention the boy's escapade has attracted but wanted to remain anonymous.
The father described the past week as 'heartbreak' to reporters. He said he was at home with his son the day the boy hopped on the flight and the child's mother was at a doctor's appointment.
The 9-year-old went to take out the trash and when he didn't return, the father assumed he had gone to a friend's house. 'I'm a parent. I'm not perfect,' he said.
Support: V.J. Smith, right, of anti-violence group MAD DADS sat next to the distraught father, left
He added: 'We didn't know he'd got on a plane until my fiance called the police. They searched his name and it came back that he was in Las Vegas.'
The man told ABC News that the couple had been struggling with their son's behavior for years and said the boy just wouldn't listen to them.
'He wasn't listening, doing what he wants to do,' the father said. 'It's so much. We ask for help.'
The father said he had previously met with his son's principal and put a plan in place to help him.
'He's not what you call an honor student,' he said. 'He has his ups, he has his downs.'
Earlier, the father had questioned the role of the TSA in allowing his child to not only get through security but to be allowed to board the plane before being discovered.
'You have so much security at an airport, how can you let a nine-year-old sneak past security get on the plane, without anyone stopping him, questioning him or anything,' the father told Minneapolis radio station WCCO.
The father said that his son's behavior had become an issue when he was five-years-old but denied his boy was on any medication.
However, this was not the first time he had exhibited behavior like this. Only last week the boy stole a 30-foot utility vehicle from downtown Minneapolis and led cops on a short chase before crashing into a police car, causing $5,888 in damage, Edina police spokeswoman Kaylin Martin said.
He also has a history of playing truant and sneaking into a local water park without paying entry.
Troubled youth: It has emerged that the boy stole this truck and crashed it after a short police chase