Man allegedly crashes stolen car into church, flees until mother makes him return and take responsibility

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- One man is in the hospital Monday after he allegedly crashed a stolen car into a south Kansas City church.

It happened at 116th and Holiday Drive where members of the Grace Church of Kansas City say they're thankful no one was seriously hurt. The church was previously known as Word of Life Worship Center. The name of the church hasn't be updated on the side of the building.

On the other side of the wall where the car crashed, is an area the church calls Babyland. It's where the child center cares for infants and toddlers. Luckily the crash happened at a time when no one was inside.

Just after midnight Monday, police say a man lost control of a stolen car he was driving and crashed it through the front wall of the church, which is set back from the street.

A church minister says the young man initially ran from the scene, but when he got home and told his mother what had happened, she brought him back to the church and made him take responsibility for his actions.

"It looked really bad," said JC Cooperwood, a church minister. "But then you have to realize there was a window there. So the impact was basically about 6 feet of concrete block, 6×3 or 6×4, that was the area that took the biggest blow. It's obvious that it cracked some of the concrete around the window. When you zoom in on it or look closer you can see that."

Cooperwood says police first took the driver to the hospital to determine if he suffered from a mental condition or was impaired. Church members are volunteering their time to temporarily patch the hole in the wall.

The church is insured and wants to have the damage repaired in time for Sunday's services. The child care center, which serves nearly 40 kids, hopes to reopen Tuesday.

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