Man Charged After Allegedly Leaving Child in Vehicle for Two Hours to Gamble

A child left alone

30-second summary

  • Seven-year-old left in unheated vehicle in -24C weather
  • Child was in the car for two hours before going in search of his father
  • Man charged with child abandonment

A Calgary man, who is believed to have attended a casino, has been charged with leaving a child in a vehicle in freezing conditions.

Child left for two hours

According to a report from The Star Calgary, a seven-year-old was left in a vehicle outside a casino with temperatures at about -24C on Sunday. Police were called to the Pure Casino by the establishment staff. It’s thought that the child went inside the casino to search for his father after sitting in the vehicle for two hours.

Upon finding the child, they took him inside to the casino’s office, giving him a pair of mittens to stay warm. It’s reported that several attempts to locate his father were unsuccessful. Police arrested the man after he returned to the casino in search of his son.

He was charged with child abandonment, and the seven-year-old was placed under the care of the Alberta Children’s Services.

Growing concern

This, unfortunately, is not the first case, nor is it likely to be the last case, where a child has been left alone outside a casino.

Last August, it was reported that a woman had been arrested after leaving her three-month-old baby girl inside a hot car outside a casino. The 26-year-old woman is believed to have been inside the casino for more than an hour and a half, despite saying she just ran in to grab her keys.

The baby was taken to the hospital and placed in the care of the authorities.

In January, Boston 25 News highlighted the growing concern of children being left in vehicles outside casinos. Since 2016, there have been 14 cases where children were left unattended at Twin River in Lincoln, Rhode Island, and Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, Massachusetts.

In another case, a man was charged with leaving his four-year-old daughter inside a locked car with the engine off. In Massachusetts, it’s illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to enter the premises of a casino.

However, it seems that the trend of leaving children in vehicles goes further back than initially thought.

KidsAndCars.org, an advocacy group that monitors cases nationwide, has found that there have been more than 300 cases of children left inside unattended vehicles outside casinos since 1999.

Yet, for many, the draw of a casino is too much. For them, leaving children inside a vehicle for hours is a risk worth taking if it might mean winning the next jackpot.