Two moms who allegedly left four kids in a running car unattended while they went gambling face child neglect charges.
The incident occurred at the Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale Beach, Fla., outside of Miami.
The kids ranged from ages two to eight years old. A passerby called 911 and police responded. One of the kids told police that “My stepmother and her sister went inside and left us here.”
One of the moms told officers that she entered the casino merely to use the restroom, but surveillance video showed the women heading to the slot machines, CBS News reports.
The two women who are sisters were apparently inside the venue for about 20 minutes while their kids were alone in the vehicle. They found police waiting for them when they returned to their car after leaving the venue.
A relative of the sisters told CBS that “It surprises me that they’re mothers and they would put their children in danger like that. It’s late night, dark. Anything could have happened.”
The state Department of Children and Families initiated a probe of the incident. A judge subsequently decided to leave three of the kids in the care of their mother because she had shown remorse and had no prior arrest record NBC Miami reports.
Elsewhere in the Sunshine State, model Brittany Harris was arrested for leaving two young children in a parking lot for three hours while she attend a Lil Wayne concert last Saturday night. The incident occurred outside the Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach. She was charged with child neglect.
In general, how should society respond when parents seem to abandon their children in this manner?