NEWARK -- An 8-year-old boy took his parents' car for a joy ride Monday night, crashing into the motel room where they slept and subsequently landing his father behind bars on an outstanding arrest warrant, police said.

Officers responded to a 10:30 p.m. call at the Motel 6 at 5601 Mowry Ave. in Newark after a report of a vehicle into a building, said Cmdr. Mike Carroll.

Police learned that as his parents slept in a room inside the motel, the boy grabbed the family's car keys and attempted to go for a joy ride, an officer wrote in his preliminary report.

"He put the car in drive, accelerated, then crashed into the wall of his parents' motel room," Carroll said.

No one was injured in the melee.

But police soon learned the boy's father -- Ion Margel, 29, of Fullerton -- was wanted on a misdemeanor theft warrant out of Orange County.

Margel was arrested and transported to the Fremont jail, Carroll said.

Neither he nor his wife were arrested in connection to the crash because they were sleeping at the time of the incident, Carroll said.

The exact monetary damage to the motel was not immediately known.

The impact damaged the wall of one of the bedrooms leaving a hole where the car struck it, said Laura Rojo-Eddy, a Motel 6 spokeswoman.

"The insurance adjuster hasn't made it out to the property to assess the damage yet," Rojo-Eddy said. "It was an unfortunate accident, but we're very grateful that no one was injured."


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Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.