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Thirty-seven-year-old Phaley Nget of Oakland, California, was arrested Monday night after police say she left her children in a car while she gambled at a Livermore casino.
“When we arrived, one of the children was crying. The windows were partially cracked,” Livermore Police Officer Traci Rebiejo told KTVU.“She was parked in the shade, and there were blankets covering the windows.”
The car was not in the Casino 580 card room parking lot but across the street at a business. An employee spotted her leaving the kids behind.
“Maybe she was trying to conceal the kids in the car so no one else could see there was children in the car, or maybe was she was trying to keep some of the heat out of the car,” Rebiejo said.
Police said the children were in the car for 35 minutes, and the temperature inside had risen to 81 degrees. The children, ages 2 and 3, were unharmed and taken into protective custody.
Nget was found in the card room and arrested. She was charged with two counts of child endangerment and booked in the Santa Rita jail on $100,000 bail.
Casino 580 management said its employees were traumatized by the news.
“The employees were actually in tears that night,” said general manager Derek Banderas. "Some of them had a hard time getting through their shift just at the thought that there would be children left out there by a parent.”
Officer Rebiejo said this case is extreme because in most calls of this nature, the parents are typically running quick errands.
“She’s doing this for her pleasure, going and gambling, and leaving her two small kids that can’t fend for themselves in potentially a hot box," Rebiejo said.