MILWAUKEE — A 17-year-old from Greenfield was arrested and criminally charged in connection to a reckless driving incident on May 17 that was featured in a Kia Boys YouTube documentary.
On June 16, the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office issued criminal charges against Markell S. Hughes. The Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) says Hughes was identified as one of the individuals that was featured on a YouTube documentary about a group of notorious car thieves that engage in reckless driving. The YouTube video was uploaded on May 31 and is titled "Kia Boys Documentary (A Story of Teenage Car Theft)."
According to MPD, Hughes was charged with one count of Drive or Operate a Vehicle Without Owner’s Consent, one count of First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, one count of Obstructing an Officer and one count of Felony Bail Jumping. If convicted, he could face up 22 years in prison and fined up to $55,000.
The so-called Kia Boys consist mostly of teenage boys who steal Hyundais and Kias for joy rides. They often crash the cars or abandon them after they run out of gas or get "too hot" after being reported stolen.
On May 31, the Kia Boys Documentary was uploaded to YouTube. The video shows an incident that occurred on May 17 on the 3600 block of W. Courtland Ave. It shows a red Hyundai Elantra speeding down a one-way street the wrong way within feet of a school. The Elantra is seen skidding off the road and over the curb, and onto a sidewalk, the complaint says. The driver of the Elantra nearly misses a 17-year-old bystander who was on the sidewalk by mere feet.
Hughes was arrested on May 30 for two offenses of Take and Drive Vehicle without Owner's Consent,and one offense of Operate Vehicle without Owner's Consent-Passenger.
On June 8, a detective reviewed jail calls placed placed by Hughes on June 6. In the calls, Hughes stated, “I heard my video went viral too. I heard my (explicit) hit 50K in one day...The video has close to 500,000 views after two weeks.”
The complaint says Hughes admitted to being the driver of the car in the incident on May 17 and said he was going too fast. The detective showed Hughes the video and he allegedly started laughing when talking about the 17-year-old he almost hit. According to the complaint, Hughes said he does not steal cars, but agreed with the detective when the detective said, "You just drive them."
On June 9, MPD officers arrested Hughes as he was on his way out of preliminary court. At the time, he was out on bail. As law enforcement was placing handcuffs on Hughes outside of court, Hughes attempted to flee from the officers. Shortly after, he was taken into custody.
Hughes returns to court for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.
MPD continues to ask the community to come forward and provide any information regarding the individuals involved in criminal activity or reckless behavior. Anyone with any information is asked to contact Milwaukee Police at (414) 935-7360, or to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at (414) 224-Tips or P3 Tips App.
TMJ4 News is choosing not to publish Hughes' mug shot, in accordance with our station's mug shot policy. It is the general policy of TMJ4 News not to use mug shots unless there is a specific content or storytelling need.