Rivers Casino Visitor Arrested After Allegedly Leaving 7-Year-Old Alone in Car

Posted on: July 20, 2021, 08:27h. 

Last updated on: July 21, 2021, 11:51h.

An Illinois man was arrested Sunday after allegedly leaving a 7-year-old boy in a car parked at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. The incident comes a couple of days after a similar allegation against another person involving a baby in the much warmer Nevada climate.

Soon after, the boy went up to casino security guards
Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Ill., pictured above. A man was arrested there after allegedly leaving a boy alone in a parked car. (Image: Journal & Topics)

John Elliott, 44, of Schiller Park, Ill., was charged with endangering the life or health of a child following the Rivers Casino episode, according to the Daily Herald, an Illinois newspaper.

Elliott allegedly left the boy in the car at about 7:30 pm Sunday. The child climbed out of the car 20 minutes later, police said.

Soon after, the boy went up to casino security guards. He told them he was alone after the adult went inside the gaming property.

Local cops learned about the incident at about 8:30 p.m. That night, Illinois Gaming Board agents reportedly apprehended Elliott before he left the casino.

If convicted, Elliott could be fined up to $25,000 and be sentenced to between two and five years in prison.

The boy did not appear to have suffered any injuries.

Des Plaines temperatures on Sunday ranged from 66 to 71 degrees. In contrast, North Las Vegas saw a high of 117 degrees on Sunday, according to AccuWeather.

Nevada Baby Taken to Hospital

In the earlier incident, the baby left in the car at a casino in North Las Vegas was taken to a Nevada hospital for an exam by authorities. It had been found alone in the car parked at Bighorn Casino. The windows were partially rolled down.

A man was later arrested, and police said he was gambling in the venue and appeared intoxicated.

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, a Nevada TV station, reported. The child is believed to be younger than one year of age. Information on the baby’s condition was not immediately available Tuesday.

Nationally, adults have been charged for leaving children unsupervised, often in cars parked at casinos. The adults go inside the casino to gamble while children fend for themselves.

Children are not allowed on gaming floors. So, they are left unattended outside.

For instance, in January 2020, 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.

Leaving unattended children is a crime in many locations. But the issue is of increased concern in summer months.

Heat Makes It Worse

Several regions in the US have set record high temperatures this summer. So, temperatures in cars increase in the summer. Those left in cars in the hot weather run the risk for heat-related illness and injuries.