Poker-Playing Mom Allegedly Left Kids Alone in Parked Car at Florida Casino

Posted on: July 22, 2022, 01:26h. 

Last updated on: July 25, 2022, 04:31h.

A court has ordered that a Georgia woman must not have any contact with her three children. That’s after they were found unattended in a car at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood.

Icese Laporsha Simmons in a mug shot
Icese Laporsha Simmons in a mug shot. She was arrested after allegedly leaving her kids in a parked car at a Florida casino. (Image: WPLG)

For three and a half hours, Icese Laporsha Simmons, 33, of Albany, Ga., played poker in the Florida casino. She now faces three counts of child neglect, WPLG, a local TV station, reported. She was arrested when she eventually came back to the car.

When she appeared in Florida’s Broward County court on Tuesday, the report said that a judge ordered Simmons not to have contact with the children. The children were placed with the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Simmons allegedly left the children in the car at about 1 am Monday. The children range in age from 4 to 12. Reports show the car was parked on the casino garage’s third floor. The children were asleep in the car at about 3:30 am Monday.

The engine was not turned on, police added. Temperatures that day in Hollywood, Fla. ranged from 82 to 91 degrees, AccuWeather reported.

A passerby notified the police about the children’s presents. Simmons returned to the car at about 4 am, according to police.

Prior Incident

In April 2021, a Florida physician, Dr. Marieny Elena Guimera-Revelo, faced two charges of neglect after she allegedly left two children unsupervised in a locked car with the engine running. It was parked outside of the same casino as this week’s incident.

Prosecutors claim she was at a poker table in the casino for at least 12 minutes and was away from the car for about an hour.

That month, Florida Judge Tabitha Blackmon ordered her to avoid contact with the kids. The children were three- and 11 years old at the time. It was not immediately known how the case was adjudicated in court.

Puppy Confined to Hot Car

Children are not the only ones left unattended in cars. On Wednesday on the Las Vegas Strip, news reports revealed that a man faced an animal abuse charge after security officers at the Bellagio rescued a confined three-month-old puppy.

Raul Carbajal, 50, of Corona Del Mar, Calif., allegedly left the young Siberian Husky in a sweltering Mercedes-Benz at the casino for two hours, news reports said. Its mouth was taped shut.

The temperature in the car was close to 108 degrees, KSNV, a local TV station said, based on police reports. The car was parked on the hotel-casino garage’s top floor, KLAS, another TV station, said. It was in direct sunlight, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) added.

The puppy had no food or water. The air conditioning was not turned on. The dog’s mouth was taped with black electrical tape, KSNV added.

A casino security guard was alerted to the puppy being in the car at about 3 pm Wednesday. The puppy survived the ordeal, KLAS said. It is not immediately clear if the puppy got ill from the extreme heat. The puppy was breathing heavily when it was in the car, KSNV added.