A 14-year-old babysitter, her 16-year-old boyfriend and the sitter's 44-year-old mother have been arrested after allegedly abandoning a 9-month-old child at a Long Island casino.
Authorities say the infant's mother hired the teenage sitter, who claimed to be 18, from a childcare website on Monday. The mother didn't arrive to pick her baby up at the pre-designated time, and the trio called police around 6:40 p.m. When cops got to the home in Ronkonkoma, police say the caregivers said they had resolved the issue and had arranged to meet the baby's mother.
The sitter's mother, Dejuana Stewart, and her daughter, who live in Ronkonkoma, along with the teenager's 16-year-old boyfriend, who lives in Brooklyn, arranged to meet the baby's mother at Jake's 58 Hotel & Casino in Islandia. But there was an argument about pick-up arrangements and payment, and the trio ended up leaving the baby in a carrier on a bench outside, according to police.
The teenage boyfriend was the one who left the carrier, police say. He initially walked back to the car, but then went back to the bench, picked up the baby and brought the child inside to a security guard, officials say. The boyfriend told security he found the baby outside, police say. He then went back outside and drove off with his girlfriend and her mom.
Cops reviewing surveillance video from the casino recognized the 16-year-old from a previous call they had responded to at Johnson Avenue, where the teen's girlfriend lives with her mom. All three were arrested at Stewart's home Tuesday evening on charges of endangering the welfare of a child.
It wasn't immediately clear if they had retained attorneys. Details on the prior call to the Johnson Avenue home weren't immediately released.
Suffolk County Child Protective Services were notified.