A New Orleans couple is in hot water for leaving their disabled daughter in a hot, parked car while they gambled inside a casino for hours. According to NOLA.com, Paula Jackson, 62, and William Jackson, 71, were arrested on Sunday, June 13, after her 24-year-old daughter was discovered inside the car.
The couple reportedly arrived at the Treasure Chest Casino in Kenner, Louisana, at approximately 9:15. Paula’s daughter was in the backseat of the van. It has been reported that her daughter’s condition is the result of traumatic brain injury. She cannot speak and is completely dependent on caretakers.
William, the disabled woman’s stepfather, dropped Paula off in front of the casino before going to park in the rear area. He reportedly sat in the van with his stepdaughter for approximately one hour before going inside to gamble with his wife. He was gone for nearly two hours. Around midnight, he came back to the vehicle to check on his stepdaughter. He stood outside for about three minutes before leaving to go back inside the casino.
An anonymous person noticed the disabled woman inside the van and contacted the Kenner Police Department, stating that she was alone inside the vehicle. When officers and paramedics arrived, they stated that the woman was sweating, but suffered no injuries. She was released to her brother but, unfortunately, her parents weren’t free to go home following the incident.
Officers reportedly identified Paula through the casino’s surveillance and made an announcement requesting that she return to her vehicle. When she arrived, they were both arrested. Paula and William Jackson have been charged with cruelty to the infirm. According to WAFB, they were booked into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center on Sunday, June 14. Although Paula Jackson was released on Tuesday, June 16, William Jackson is still being held without bond.
Lt. Brian McGregor with the Kenner Police Department shared how the incident personally affected him. Although the woman was not injured, their inability to “use better judgment” could have been detrimental to their daughter’s health.
“I’m a parent of a special needs child and I especially know the responsibilities as a parent,” said Lt. McGregor. “You don’t want to see these types of things happen and you would hope that parents would use better judgment.”
[Image via Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office]