89°F
weather icon Clear

Father gambled in casino after leaving infant in hot car, report says

A father was arrested last week in North Las Vegas after police said he went into a casino to gamble for 30 minutes while his infant son sat in a sweltering car.

Mitchel Hooks, 39, was arrested July 16 and charged with a felony count of child abuse, according to court documents.

Officers were called at 10:15 p.m. July 16 to the Bighorn Casino, 3016 E. Lake Mead Blvd., after a woman told casino security she saw a baby crying in a car in the parking lot, according to an arrest report from the North Las Vegas Police Department. The vehicle was not running.

Body camera footage from the department shows a security guard telling police that the door of the SUV was unlocked when he approached, and the baby was already screaming. An officer pours cold water over the infant, who stops screaming when the officer picks him up.

In the footage, a firefighter can be heard telling police, “He’s warm to the touch.”

The father approached the SUV moments later and told police he left his 6-month-old son in the car with the window rolled down while he went inside to use the bathroom, according to the arrest report.

Police said the driver’s window was rolled down four inches and all other windows were up. It was 100 degrees outside at the time, police said.

Hooks later told police he was inside for about 30 minutes gambling, which police confirmed with surveillance footage from inside the casino, the arrest report states.

Officers noted that medical personnel said the baby did not appear injured.

Police spokesman Alex Cuevas said the baby was taken to a hospital for assessment and later released to his mother.

Hooks posted bail on July 19 and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Oct. 26.

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST