Rivers Casino visitor arrested after allegedly leaving boy alone in car

Posted: July 20, 2021, 8:27 a.m.

Last update on: July 20, 2021, 8:27 a.m.

An Illinois man was arrested Sunday after he allegedly left a 7-year-old boy in a car parked at the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. The incident comes days after a similar allegation involving a baby in Nevada’s much warmer climate.

Soon after, the boy went to the casino security guards.
Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Illinois, pictured above. A man was arrested there after allegedly leaving a boy alone in a parked car. (Picture: Journal and topics)

John Elliott, 44, of Schiller Park, Ill., Has been charged with endangering the life or health of a child following the Rivers Casino episode, according to the Messenger of the day, an Illinois newspaper.

Elliott reportedly left the boy in the car around 7:30 p.m. Sunday. The child got out of the car 20 minutes later, police said.

Soon after, the boy went to the casino security guards. He told them he was alone after the adult entered the gambling property.

Local cops learned of the incident around 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 two to five years in prison.

The boy does not appear to have sustained any injuries.

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

Nevada baby rushed to hospital

In the previous incident, the baby left in a casino car in northern Las Vegas was taken to a Nevada hospital for examination by authorities.

He was found alone in the car parked at the Bighorn Casino. The windows were partly down.

A man was later arrested and police said he was playing at the scene and appeared to be intoxicated.

Mitchell Anthony Hooks, 39, of Las Vegas, was in the casino around 8:15 p.m. Friday. He was arrested by police from North Las Vegas.

Hooks has been charged with child abuse and leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle, KLAS, a Nevada TV station reported.

The child would be less than a year old. Information on the baby’s condition was not immediately available on Tuesday.

Nationally, adults have been accused of leaving children unattended, often in cars, parked in casinos. The adults enter the casino to play while the children fend for themselves.

Children are not allowed on the playgrounds. Thus, they are left unattended outside.

For example, in January 2020, there were 21 reports of adults leaving children unattended at all three Massachusetts casinos over an 18-month period. Several of the children were under 12 years old.

Leaving children unattended is a crime in many places. But the issue is of growing concern during the summer months.

The heat makes it worse

Several regions of the United States recorded record temperatures this summer. Thus, temperatures in cars rise in summer. Those who stay in cars in hot weather are at risk of heat-related illnesses and injuries.

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