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Nevada dad leaves baby in car in 100-degree heat to gamble at Vegas casino, police say

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A man is facing child abuse charges after leaving his 6-month-old son inside a vehicle amid triple-digit temperatures outside while he went inside a Nevada casino to gamble, police said. 

The father, Mitchell Hooks, was arrested by North Vegas police officers after the baby was rescued during the July 16 incident. 

He is charged with child abuse or neglect and leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle. 

“Mitchell told me he shouldn’t have done what he did and that he deserved anything that was coming to him,” Officer Osvaldo Cerda-Guzman wrote in the police report obtained by Fox News. “He went on to say that there was no excuse for it and no reason for it.”

A paramedic holds a baby who was rescued from a hot car outside a Nevada casino.
(North Las Vegas Police Department )

A woman informed security at the Bighorn Casino that a crying baby was left alone inside a vehicle parked next to hers. When security personnel responded, they found the driver’s-side window rolled down four inches, police said. 

All the other windows were up. 

They called the police department around 10:19 p.m. As he arrives at the scene, Cerda-Guzman’s police body camera shows Sgt. Becky Salkoff pouring cold water on the baby’s head as he cries in an effort to cool him down. 

Salkoff and responding paramedics can be heard saying the child was still very warm. 

North Las Vegas police Sgt. Becky Salkoff pours water over a crying baby who was left in a hot car. 
(North Las Vegas Police Department )

Cerda-Guzman said he approached the vehicle and saw the baby with tears rolling down his face. He noted the temperature outside was about 100 degrees with 14% humidity. 

When officers found Hooks, they asked him if he was the owner of the vehicle. He allegedly responded by saying: “I know I’m in trouble,” according to the police report. He said the vehicle was unlocked.

“I made a mistake. I went in there and I gambled,” he allegedly said. “I came out 30 minutes later.”

Mitchell Hooks
(North Las Vegas Police Department )

Hooks said he went inside the casino to use the bathroom after dropping off the boy’s sister at a friend’s house, police said. 

Surveillance footage from the casino shows Hooks arriving in the parking lot at 9:46 p.m. and entering the casino a minute later. 

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