Posted on: December 19, 2022, 01:27h.
Last updated on: December 19, 2022, 01:40h.
This year has seen a number of instances of people leaving their children in a car to visit a casino, and the latest case comes out of Madrid, Spain. A Chinese couple allegedly abandoned their 3-month-old baby in their car to visit a casino and will now suffer the consequences.
The pair allegedly left the newborn in the car in the middle of the night last Wednesday. At the time, the temperature was unseasonably warm. But the city was dealing with flash floods in certain areas.
An unidentified person was in a public parking garage when she thought she heard a child crying. Because it was 2:50 in the morning, the wails seemed out of place, so she went to investigate.
Gambling Over Babies
By following the cries, she found the vehicle where the baby infant was. It was raining heavily, and inside the parking structure, it was cold and humid.
The bystander called the Municipal Police, who sent officers to the scene. Upon their arrival, agents of the National Corps were already there, investigating a gray Volkswagen. Agents from both forces then collaborated in rescuing the girl, breaking the rear window of the vehicle to gain access.
The girl was healthy, but had vomited while trapped in her cage. The police officers summoned civil protection agents, who examined the baby and took her into protective custody.
The agents immediately suspected that the parents, of Chinese nationality based on the vehicle records, could be in the Gran Casino Madrid adjacent to the garage. It’s a popular destination for many gamblers. But there is a part of the Asian community that regularly drops in.
The instincts were on the money, as the officials found the couple in the casino. However, when they questioned the pair about what had happened, neither the father nor the mother owned up to any wrongdoing.
Given their attitude, the officers placed them under arrest and charged them with abandonment of a minor. The baby was ultimately turned over to the paternal grandfather, but the parents temporarily lost their rights to see her.
The matter is now in the hands of prosecutors, who have begun to process the case with the statement of the agents and the testimony of the two. In accordance with Spanish law, the parents are looking at between 18 months and three years in prison.
Not An Isolated Incident
There have been several cases over the years of parents leaving their children in cars to gamble. In 2021, a father left his six-month-old in his vehicle in the middle of the Las Vegas summer heat.
Earlier this year, a mother in Florida wanted to gamble so bad that she left her 27-day-old baby unattended while she hit the slot machines. Both incidents are part of a worrying trend that doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
Studies show that, in the US alone, parents left almost 700 children in their vehicles while they visited casinos. Another study reports that, in just Pennsylvania, the number of such cases soared 60% this year compared to 2021.
Two of the worst cases this year ended in tragedy. In one, a three-month-old infant died after being left in a vehicle in the parking lot of a casino in Pennsylvania while his parents gambled.
A similar incident played out in North Carolina after a mother left her two-year-old alone in her car. The boy died after being trapped for about seven hours.