Crime

Baby Found in Locked Car at North Las Vegas Casino, Gambler Arrested

A baby was taken to a Nevada hospital Friday night for an exam by authorities. That’s after it was found alone in a car parked at Bighorn Casino in North Las Vegas on a hot’s summer’s evening. A man was later arrested, and police said he was gambling in the venue and appeared intoxicated.

Nevada’s Bighorn Casino pictured above. A man was arrested at the casino after allegedly leaving a baby unattended in a car. (Image: VitalLasVegas.com)

The child is believed to be younger than one year of age. The infant was in a pediatric unit earlier this weekend, KLAS, a local TV station, reported.

The baby’s condition was unknown as of Sunday. It is unclear if the baby suffered any injuries. The windows were partially rolled down when the baby was seen by police officers. The car was locked.

Temperatures outside on Friday reached a high of 117 degrees in Las Vegas, according to AccuWeather. Las Vegas has been facing record-setting temperatures.

Mitchell Anthony Hooks, 39, of Las Vegas was located in the casino at about 8:15 pm Friday. He was arrested by North Las Vegas police officers. Hooks was charged with child abuse and leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle, KLAS said.

Children Unattended in Cars

Nationwide, police have investigated other incidents of adults leaving children in cars at casinos.

For instance, in April, a 43-year-old Florida doctor allegedly left two kids unattended in a locked car at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood.

Dr. Marieny Elena Guimera-Revelo was facing two charges of neglect after she allegedly left the two children unsupervised. The children were three- and 11-years-old.

Prosecutors claim she was at a poker table in the casino for at least 12 minutes, according to WBBH, a local TV station. In total, she was in the casino for about an hour, police said.

The high temperature in Hollywood that day was about 91 degrees, according to AccuWeather. It was unknown if the air conditioning was operating in the car.

Also, in March 2020, a three-year-old autistic boy was left in a locked, unheated car for a half hour while his father went into Lincoln, R.I.’s Twin River gaming venue to place sports bets, state police claimed. The temperature was in the mid-30s on the windy winter’s day.

The father, identified by state police as Mitchell Cuevas, 38, of Providence, was arrested for cruelty to or neglect of a child, and obstructing an officer in the execution of duty. It was unclear how the case was adjudicated.

Dogs At Risk, Too

In recent weeks, a Las Vegas woman allegedly left her dog in a hot SUV parked at the Wild Wild West Casino. Two weeks later, she left the same animal in the same SUV in front of a Goodwill store on another hot day, police said.

She was in a local jail Sunday awaiting a court appearance.

Ed Silverstein

Gaming Law, Tribal Gaming, Crime, Gaming Research----An award-winning journalist with credits ranging from the Associated Press to American Lawyer Media, Ed joined the Casino.org news team in 2019 with decades of legal reporting expertise under his belt. His past reporting and editing assignments include Cowles Business Media, Columbia University Press, the Connecticut Post, and Southern Connecticut Newspapers, Inc. Besides the law and its application to the gaming industry, Ed’s areas of expertise span business, courts, crime, politics, education, and state and local government. With an undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut (where he now lives), and master’s degrees from Harvard and Yale, Ed’s professional awards include recognition from the New England Press Association and New England AP News Executives. Email: ed.silverstein@casino.org

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Ed Silverstein