Reported By: Lee Peck
It was an overnight domestic dispute that authorities say led authorities to the Isle of Capri Casino in Westlake early Friday morning and ultimately landed a Houston woman behind bars.
"She got intoxicated, left her hotel room to try to find her boyfriend and left her 2 and a half year old in the hotel room alone," said Calcasieu Sheriff's Lt. Elizabeth Zaunbrecher.
45 year old Jeong Sung was arrested and charged with child desertion after authorities with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office and Child Protective Services discovered the toddler had been left in a hotel room for several hours.
"The baby was fine... The baby was sleeping," said Zaunbrecher.
But this isn't the first child abandonment arrest at a local casino. Lt. Zaunbrecher with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office says it's a problem at every casino in the parish and that within the last year they have investigated more than five separate cases. You may remember this case back in December of 2006, when police say mother Loan Ngyuen admitted to leaving her 9-year-old daughter alone in an Isle of Capri hotel room while going on a gambling spree.
"The child had become friends with another child, whose family was also staying at the casino and had gone back with them to their room. It was an exhaustive search for that child," said Zaunbrecher.
Neither Isle of Capri nor L'auberge du Lac offer onsite child care and say children must be accompanied by an adult at their hotels. Zaunbrecher says most of these cases involve people visiting from out of town.
"The children who have been left alone unattended in the parking lots anything can happen to those kids, anything. If there is a fire alarm or something happened at one of the casinos and the children that were left in the rooms, they're helpless to get out," said Zaunbrecher.
Bottom line Zaunbrecher says if you're going to play at the boats, don't gamble with your child's safety.
"If you are going to come to the casino to enjoy them, it would be so much better to enjoy them guilt free and not have to worry about where your child is," said Zaunbrecher.