Grandmother has dementia
A 29-year-old man is facing charges after allegedly locking his 76-year-old grandmother inside a vehicle for 16 hours while he gambled at a casino.
The incident is reported to have taken place at the Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, last December, reports Action News Jax.
A security guard eventually discovered Wesley Brown’s grandmother, who has dementia, with the temperature in the car around 37C (98.6F). According to a legal complaint, Brown admitted to leaving his grandmother inside the car, but “believed there were chips and candy in the back seat.”
During the 16 hours that she was on her own, Brown came and checked on her once, but failed to bring anything for her to eat and drink in that time.
As a result of his actions, he faces charges such as false imprisonment, and if convicted he could be sentenced up to 10 years in prison.
Leaving children in cars
Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident of leaving someone inside a vehicle while another goes to gamble. In fact, there have been several reports of this happening; however, this appears to be one of the first involving an elderly person.
In February, a Calgary man was charged after allegedly leaving a seven-year-old in an unheated car to attend a casino. At the time, the temperature outside was -24C (-11F). After sitting in the car for two hours, the child attempted to go in search of his father. Police were alerted when the child entered the casino and staff became aware of the situation.
More recently, an Oklahoma grandmother was facing second-degree murder charges for the death of her grandson while she gambled. According to a report from April, the 50-year-old woman left the five-year-old inside her vehicle for over six hours in 32C (90F) heat. Attempts were made to revive the young boy; however, these were unsuccessful.
As a consequence of her actions, she was looking at life in prison and a fine amounting to as much as $250,000 (£197,000).
When it comes to gambling and the welfare of those we care for, many people are willing to put their safety aside in the hope they might win the jackpot.
In January, for instance, Boston 25 News noted growing concern for the number of children being left inside vehicles while family members went to gamble. It found that, since 2016, there have been 14 cases where children were left on their own at Twin River in Lincoln, Rhode Island, and Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, Massachusetts.
In another situation, a 26-year-old woman was arrested after she left her three-month-old baby girl inside a hot vehicle outside a casino. She is believed to have been inside the venue for more than 90 minutes, even though she claimed she had only run in to get her car keys.
In many of these cases, though, it is illegal for those under the age of 21 to enter casinos. This may be why there are so many incidents involving young people being left on their own. It’s likely that this won’t be a problem that goes away anytime soon.