Father of 9-year-old stowaway says son has had ups and downs

(NBC News) As investigators try to figure out how a 9-year-old boy managed to sneak onto a plane and fly from Minneapolis to Las Vegas, the child's father has issued an emotional plea for help, saying he has struggled with his son's behavior.

"If I whoop my son, I get locked up, if I let my son keep on doing what he's doing, I get in trouble, somebody please help me, please," the boy's father said in a press conference Wednesday.

His face was hidden during his statement in an effort to protect the family's identity.

In addition to the plane ride, authorities say the boy recently stole a 30 foot delivery truck in Minneapolis and crashed it into a police car, and that he has a history of taking the light rail to a suburb near the airport, where he would sneak into a water park by blending in with families.

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