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Dad Left Baby in Car to Go Gambling

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By Betty Wang, JD on July 12, 2013 9:34 AM

A dad left his baby in a hot car while he went gambling at a casino, police say. Now, he'll need a bit more than luck to beat a pair of criminal charges.

Danny Ngo, 44, of Philadelphia, drove to the Parx Casino in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, with his 18-month-old son, and allegedly left the baby in his car while he went inside to play blackjack. It was nearly 90 degrees outside, and the temperature inside the car was much hotter, police say.

A passerby eventually heard the young boy's cries and called 911.

Gambling With Child Safety

Police officers forced their way into Ngo's car to rescue the child, who was apparently unharmed. Cops then waited until Ngo emerged from the casino to arrest him, Philadelphia's KYW-TV reports.

Ngo is being charged with reckless endangerment and endangering a child's welfare. He was held on $100,000 bail; if convicted, he could face fines and incarceration.

Ngo is not the first and unfortunately may not be the last parent who is guilty of leaving their child in a hot car, which can easily get a parent arrested.

He's also not the first to be arrested for leaving children unattended in a car at this very casino. It's happened numerous times over the years, but is becoming more and more rare thanks to increased enforcement by the casino, police told KYW.

Criminal Charges

As Ngo has learned the hard way, leaving a child in a car can lead to abuse-related charges. While each state has its own definition of child abuse, it is generally found when a parent or caretaker physically, emotionally, or sexually mistreats or neglects a child.

Pennsylvania's child welfare endangerment statute defines it as knowingly endangering the welfare of a child by violating a duty of care, protection or support.

While it may not be intentional or malicious, leaving your child in a car, even for a few minutes, can be seen as being negligent, or worse, especially if the child dies from being exposed to the heat. Bottom line: Next time you may think about leaving your child alone in your car for even a second, don't.

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