Father arrested for leaving baby, 2-year-old in car to gamble at Detroit casino

A father gambles with the lives of two young children leaving them inside a hot car - while he's inside a Detroit casino.

- A father gambling with the lives of his two young children by leaving them inside a hot car while he went inside a Detroit casino has been arrested. The Ypsilanti man originally walked away with just a ticket, but now he's facing a much more serious charge.

Luckily, the two boys left in the car were rescued just in time, but their father's luck has run out.

Exclusive to FOX 2, we were on scene when authorities arrested 25-year-old Montez Sistrunk, the Ypsilanti man accused of leaving his 5-month-old and 2-year-old boys inside his car for 30 minutes while he went inside Detroit's MotorCity Casino to gamble.

Police say Sistrunk attempted to cover his children with a blanket so no one would notice they were in the backseat.The doors were locked and the windows were rolled up.

An observant patron noticed the babies alone in the car inside the covered parking structure and immediately reported it to casino security. Employees were able to smash the back window of his Ford Focus and rescue the kids from inside the hot car, where temperatures were estimated around 120 degrees.

The father of the boys was nowhere to be found. Police used the casino's surveillance video to track him down and found him on the floor still gambling.

Later Monday night, FOX 2's Taryn Asher found him at his Ypsilanti apartment. You can see video of her questioning Sistrunk in the video players in this story.

The boys' mother, who was at work at the time, was called to the casino and took the kids, but police only issued Sistrunk a ticket for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. At the time, he was allowed to leave.

It was a mistake Detroit police admit and corrected later Monday, eventually hauling Sistrunk away in handcuffs.

With Washtenaw County Sheriff's Deputies assisting Detroit police arrested Sistrunk at his Ypsilanti apartment. Police say he will now be facing charges of child neglect.

FOX 2 is told Child Protective Services was called and is looking into what happened.

Chief James Craig said the Detroit police officer at the scene made a mistake by only issuing a ticket for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Craig said he is looking into it.


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