Security Officers Locate Child Left in Car Outside Casino

Security staff discovered child shivering in parked car while father gambled inside casino


NEWARK, Del. (AP) - A 30-year-old Baltimore man left his 3-year-old son locked inside a car in freezing temperatures while he went into a slot machine casino, authorities said.

Wenhai Lu was arrested Thursday morning and charged with reckless endangering and endangering the welfare of a child, Delaware State Police said. He was released on an unsecured bond after being arraigned.

Investigators said security officers at Delaware Park in Stanton received a report about 1:15 a.m. Thursday that a small child was crying inside a vehicle in the casino parking lot.

Security officers located the vehicle and found the boy, who was not wearing a coat, shoes or socks. Temperatures in the area dropped into the low 20s overnight, according to the National Weather Service.

"It was ice cold," said state police spokeswoman Cpl. Helen Zane.

Security officers were able to get the boy to unlock the car, and took him inside the building. They issued a page for the boy's father over the public address system, but received no response, Zane said.

Lu was taken into custody when he left Delaware Park, about an hour after the child was discovered by security officers.

The child was turned over to the custody of his mother.