Florida parents Natalie Fouche (pictured) and Albert Thomas Owens were arrested after allegedly leaving their 20-month-old son in their Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hotel room on Tuesday night to have dinner, the Sun Sentinel reports. Records show that it was the father’s birthday.
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Each parent has been charged with one count of cruelty towards a child and were ordered jailed on $1,000 bond. They bonded out on Thursday.
According to local authorities in Seminole County where the alleged incident took place, the child was left alone for at least 45 minutes. Officials say the couple left the baby on the bed and unplugged the phone so the child would not be disturbed.
The Sun Sentinel has more on this story:
A casino security supervisor received an alert shortly before 7:30 p.m. Tuesday indicating that a telephone was unplugged from a wall socket.
“That calls for an automatic security check as standard procedure,” said police spokesman Gary Bitner.
The supervisor found the child sleeping on the bed and waited 20 minutes before calling police, said Bitner.
The parents returned to the room at 8:05 p.m. and told officials they had had gone to the casino to eat and drink. They admitted to police that the child was left alone at least for 45 minutes, Bitner said. The two were taken to Broward County Jail.
The child’s mother, a Broward College nursing student, said she only had about $500 for bond. The father, who indicated he is unemployed, said he had no money.
The child was released to the custody of a relative, said Paige Patterson-Hughes, spokeswoman with the Florida Department of Children and Families.
Fouche, 30, and Owens, 36, have been ordered not to have any contact with the baby until a hearing has been scheduled to discuss custody arrangements.