Children left alone in car while parents gambled, police say

Kids found outside Hialeah Park Racing & Casino

By Elsa Bolt - Producer , Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

HIALEAH, Fla. - A South Florida couple was arrested Thursday after they left their two children in a car while they gambled, police said.

Tyrell Johnson and his girlfriend, Josephine Laidler, were arrested on charges of child neglect.

The children were found outside the Hialeah Park Racing & Casino shortly after midnight.

Police said the two boys, ages 1 and 4, were left inside their parents' car for more than an hour. The car's engine and air conditioning were running at the time.

"The car, I am being told, was unlocked which makes it so dangerous," said Carl Zogby of the Hialeah Police Department. "The kids were subject to anything happening to them. They could have walked out of the car or somebody could have come and opened the car."

Neighbors said they were equally as shocked.

"Golly, they could have come here and asked me to babysit them. I would have done that," said one neighbor.

The children's maternal grandparents were awarded temporary custody of them at a shelter hearing Thursday afternoon. The parents were ordered to stay away from their children.

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