Rhode Island Man Allegedly Left Three-Year-Old Autistic Son Unattended in Cold Car at Twin River Casino

Posted on: March 1, 2020, 06:41h. 

Last updated on: March 1, 2020, 11:53h.

A three-year-old autistic boy was left in a locked, unheated car for a half hour Saturday while his father went into Lincoln, Rhode Island’s Twin River gaming venue to place sports bets, state police claim in news reports. The temperature was in the mid-30s on the windy winter’s day.

Rhode Island State Police, who are led by Colonel James M. Manni (above), rescued a little boy Saturday who was allegedly left by his father alone in a parked car while the father gambled at Twin River Casino. (Image: Newport Daily News)

The father, later 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 execution of duty.

The child was alone and seen by passersby in the car that was left in the Twin River Casino Hotel parking lot. The unnamed Samaritans notified state troopers assigned to the casino about the little boy.

Cuevas was located and police said he confirmed he is the boy’s father. But police claim he lied about the child’s identity and details on the child’s mother, NECN reported.

State police later confirmed the child’s name. Troopers then notified the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families. Later, the toddler was released to his mother. On Saturday, Cuevas was released from custody after providing $2,000 bail.

Massachusetts Also Investigated Unattended Children as Parents Gamble

Elsewhere in New England, police have investigated other incidents of adults leaving children unattended at casinos.

In January, WFXT TV reported how there were 21 reports of adults leaving children unattended at the three Massachusetts casinos in an 18-month period. Several of the children were under 12-years-old.

Among the incidents highlighted by the TV station was one where a 6-year-old boy was wandering on the sixth floor of a casino hotel. The boy had “urinated his pants” while his mother was gambling, the report said. He was alone in a hotel room for six hours.

Another parent left her 11-year-old son outside the Encore Boston Harbor for three hours. The child became hungry and approached a security officer.

Last year, three sets of gamblers in two states — Indiana and Pennsylvania — were arrested in separate incidents in February after allegedly leaving young children unattended and, in one case, left to fend off extreme cold.

Toddlers, ages one and three, were found wandering on a street in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, only partially clothed. The three-year-old girl was wearing only a top, a purple jacket, one sock and one sandal. The boy was wearing a t-shirt, diaper, and socks.

Temperatures outdoors were in the 30s. The children’s mother was not home, and her boyfriend left the children unattended at the residence so he could gamble at a local casino, police said.

Robbery of Elderly Man at Twin River

Police have investigated other types of crimes in recent months at Twin River Casino in Lincoln. In January, a Massachusetts man was arrested for a robbery at the gaming property. The hold-up took place in a parking lot.

The victim, a 69-year-old man, was in his car when he got robbed by a knife-wielding suspect who threatened to “cut him” if the elderly man did not turn over his wallet.

The suspect, identified by police as Anthony McClain, 30, of Framingham, Massachusetts, took cash from the wallet, as well a cell phone and eyeglasses. He was later located and arrested by police. McLain was charged with first-degree robbery.

Police believe McClain tailed the victim while the two were inside the casino. The case is now pending in Rhode Island court.