One bad gamble

Mom charged for leaving baby in car

Thu, April 13, 2006


For the second time in as many weeks, a parent has been charged with abandonment after gambling with a baby's life.

Durham police allege a 37-year-old Oshawa woman left her 5-month-old daughter in the car with the windows rolled down slightly Tuesday morning while she went inside the Ajax Downs Casino to try to win some money.

"I believe she was in the establishment gambling," said Durham police spokesman Dave Selby.

Security staff patrolling the parking lot of the casino on Alexander Crossing, near Kingston and Salem Rds., around 10:30 a.m. noticed a blanket moving and the baby girl's feet poking out from it in the backseat of a Pontiac Sunfire, police said.

Police were called and a page was delivered inside the casino asking the owner of the vehicle to come out to the parking lot. When the baby's mom came outside she was arrested and charged with child abandonment.

Police say witnesses reported seeing the baby girl unattended in the car for at least 20 minutes. The windows were rolled down a little to allow air into the car, but Selby said that's just not good enough.

"Leaving a child unattended in a car is never a good idea," he said.

Children's Aid Services have taken custody of the tot pending a hearing, which is expected to be held early next week.

Less than two weeks ago, on April 1, a 42-year-old father was charged after leaving his 22-month-old child in the backseat of his vehicle while he went inside Woodbine Racetrack.