ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (WAFB) - A mother and two others have been arrested after surveillance video from a casino in St. Landry Parish showed them leaving a child alone in a vehicle while they were inside.
According to arrest reports, a security officer and an employee of a truck stop/casino saw a two-year-old child in a vehicle alone with the windows slightly down. Surveillance footage confirmed the child was in the vehicle with the mother’s friend, Christine Johnson, 34. The child’s mother, Pashula Thomas, 32, would take turns playing in the casino with Johnson. Deputies say they each spent about five minutes playing at a time, according to the surveillance video.
On the last time, Thomas spent about 45 minutes in the casino and the child was seen exiting the car while Johnson stayed inside the car. The two-year-old walked alone towards a dine-in area of the truck stop. Johnson then left the vehicle and walked into the casino as well.
An employee was seen exiting the truck stop with the child in her arms, walking around the parking lot searching for the parents. After finding no one, deputies say the employee walked back into the truck stop.
A third person, Leonard Boagni, 40, stopped the employee and told her the child was with them and that the child belonged to Thomas, who he identified as his girlfriend.
Deputies say Boagni put the child in the backseat of the car and left it alone while he went inside the casino. Johnson was seen walking in and out of the casino several times while the child remained alone in the car.
Thomas, the child’s mother, Johnson, and Boagni were arrested and charged with child desertion. They each face a $1,500 bond.
The child was released to the custody of it’s grandfather.