Couple Arrested After 5 Kids Found Left In Car Outside Catoosa Casino
CATOOSA, Oklahoma - Two parents are behind bars today after police say they left their kids in a car while they gambled at a Catoosa casino.
The kids were left in the running car outside of the Hard Rock Casino for about an hour before police found the parents and arrested them late Saturday, according to an arrest report.
Dimitra Whitfield and Christopher Bailey were arrested on child endangerment complaints and booked into the Rogers County Jail.
"When you have kids left alone in the vehicle, they are not going to sit still and do what they're told," said John Blish, Catoosa assistant police chief. "I mean they have the possibility of getting out of the vehicle to go look for a parent or they have the possibility of maybe something happening. Putting the car in drive and driving off or in reverse."
Casino security and some passersby alerted police to the kids, who range in age from 9 months old to 9 years old.
In a commercial area with shopping and gambling, things like this aren't uncommon, police said
"It's never a good situation," Blish said.
Police said they alerted the Department of Human Services and the kids are staying with a family member.
"A relative actually came to the casino and picked up the kids so, there were some other alternatives for them instead of leaving them stuck in a parked car," Blish said.
The Cherokee Nation said this is absolutely unacceptable and will not be tolerated at their properties.
The Nation said both Whitfield and Bailey are banned from coming back to the casino.