Kids left in vehicles as parents gamble, police say

WASHINGTON – Two parents have been charged in separate cases in Maryland and Virginia after police say they left their children in locked vehicles while they went gambling.

Anne Arundel County police charged Alicia Denice Brown, 24, of Baltimore on New Year’s Eve with second-degree child abuse, confining an unattended child who is under 8 and neglect of a minor.

She has been released from jail after posting a $150,000 bond.

Security personnel at Maryland Live! casino in Hanover, Md. called police at 6:31 p.m. after finding a 4-year-old crying in a cold, parked vehicle on the fourth level of the casino’s garage. The vehicle had arrived at the casino 8 1/2 hours earlier, police say.

Police say as the child was about to be transported to Baltimore Washington Medical Center to be checked out, Brown arrived at the vehicle and identified herself as the child’s mother. The child was found to be cold and hungry but in good health and was released to a relative.

In a separate incident in Crystal City, Va., police charged James Bentley, of Arlington, with two counts of child endangerment.

Police say on Friday he locked his 10-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter in his vehicle as he was gambling on a horse-racing video game inside Crystal City Sports Pub. The children were in the car for about a half hour.

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