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Fugitive Kentucky Teen on Run With Girlfriend Regrets Stealing Cars

Dalton Hayes, 18, said from jail Monday that he wishes he and his 13-year-old girlfriend paid for bus tickets to Florida instead of stealing cars.
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The Kentucky 18-year-old who allegedly went on a two-week crime spree with his 13-year-old girlfriend said he should have just bought bus tickets — not stolen cars — to get to Florida. Dalton Hayes' jailhouse interview Monday came as his girlfriend's' mom, who begged for her daughter's safe return, was arrested on a charge of custodial interference.

The latest turn of events underscore the confusion that surrounded Hayes' and the girl's disappearance on Jan. 3 — as they cut through Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia before ending up in Panama City, Florida, where they were arrested late Saturday. As they trailed south, police said, the pair stole three cars, including one that held two handguns.

Hayes, in an interview with the Panama City News Herald, took exception that he and the girl appeared to be gunning for a showdown with authorities. "It ain't like we were killing cops and robbing stores. We just went on a few high-speed chases." Hayes said if they hadn't been caught, they would have continued on to Miami.

In another interview with NBC affiliate WJHG, Hayes said he doesn't need to be forgiven for going on the run with the 13-year-old, but that her father "took it too far" by calling the police on them. "Nobody ever went missing," he said.

Hayes and his girlfriend are set to return to Kentucky as soon as Thursday, said Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins. The pair face burglary, trespassing and criminal mischief charges. Hayes, meanwhile, already was wanted on burglary and theft charges from an arrest last year, The News Herald reported.

Meanwhile, a warrant was served Monday for the girl's mother, Sherry Peters, for custodial interference reported NBC affiliate WAVE. Details of the arrest weren't immediately released, but Peters is described as the noncustodial parent.

Image: Sherry Peters
Sherry Peters' booking mugshot taken on Jan. 18,2014 by the Grayson County, Kentucky, Sheriff’s Office.Grayson County Sheriff’s Offic



— Erik Ortiz and Debra Preitkis-Jones