A Baltimore woman spent the first moments of 2014 in jail after she left her 4-year-old daughter unattended in a car for hours while she gambled inside a casino, New York's Daily News reports.
Alicia Denice Brown, 24, was arrested on New Year's Eve at Maryland Live! Casino in Hanover, Md., after a routine patrol of the parking garage by security uncovered the crying child around 6:30 p.m.
"It's very troubling for us as an agency, but more importantly as human beings," Lt. T.J. Smith told the Daily News.
Security contacted police, who, after an investigation, determined that the crying child had been left inside the vehicle for more than eight hours.
Brown—who was found inside the casino and later admitted that the child was hers—was arrested at the scene and charged with child abuse in the second degree, confining an unattended child under 8 years old and neglect of a minor, the Daily News reports.
"This is a shocking and absolutely appalling situation. We are actually fortunate that it had a good ending," Smith told the Daily News.
The child was immediately transferred to the hospital for examination. Despite being startled, hungry and cold, she had no significant physical injuries, doctors said.
The little girl was released to a responsible adult relative, said Smith.
"Incidents of parental neglect and lack of personal responsibility are disturbing," Rob Norton, the casino's president and general manager, said in a statement to the Daily News. "We are thankful that our security team was able to intervene and get the appropriate authorities involved and that we found the child unharmed."
Read more at the Daily News.