Casino Arizona Gambler Allegedly Left Kids in Car, Told Toddler Was ‘Getting a Cookie’

Posted on: May 21, 2022, 06:47h. 

Last updated on: May 22, 2022, 06:05h.

An Arizona man was tossed in jail on Thursday after he allegedly left his two children in a car outside of Scottsdale’s Casino Arizona. He went inside to gamble for over a half hour, police said.

Keo Bunchhor in a mug shot,
Keo Bunchhor in a mug shot, pictured above. He allegedly left two children in his car outside of a casino. (Image: Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office via KSAZ)

Keo Bunchhor, 39, of Glendale, Arizona, was charged with two counts of child abuse, according to KSAZ, a local TV station. Bond was set at $5,000.

The two children, ages two and five, were not injured. The outside temperature that day was 86 degrees. The kids later were turned over to their mother.

Police Notified

A passerby noticed the children alone in the car. The person notified authorities and police arrived at the car.

At least one rear window in the vehicle was rolled down when an officer arrived. The officer said hello to the older child and inquired what was happening.

The five-year-old told him his father went out “to get a cookie,” KTVK, another local TV station, reported. The car was kept running while Bunchhor was in the gaming venue.

Bunchhor was located by officers. He explained he was gambling to pay his “rent,” according to KSAZ. He also admitted to having a “gambling problem,” the report said.

Prior Incidents

Leaving children in cars at casinos is a nationwide problem.

Earlier this month, young children were left alone in a car parked at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Ill. while their father allegedly went into the sportsbook to gamble. He later was located and arrested.

The children, ages three and five, apparently were not injured. It was not immediately clear how long the kids were alone in the car. Casino security guards saw the two children in the car and then notified local cops.

The father, later identified as Esteban Meraz, 38, of Chicago, was found by authorities in the sportsbook. He was charged with two counts of endangering the life or health of a child, the Daily Herald, an Illinois newspaper, reported. His case was turned over to local courts for prosecution.

Also, in April 2021, a Florida physician faced two charges of neglect after leaving two children unattended in her car. Dr. Marieny Elena Guimera-Revelo allegedly left them in the car while she played poker at Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood.

Prosecutors claim she was at a poker table in the casino for at least 12 minutes. The children were three and 11-years-old at the time.

It was unclear how the earlier cases were resolved in court.