MIAMI – On the eve of his daughter's 4th birthday, Miami Police say Luis Bianchi left the toddler home alone in front of the television with assault rifles and a grenade in plain view in the other room because he was running late to work.
He is now facing a single count of child neglect.
After he posted bond Thursday afternoon, we caught up with Bianchi outside of jail. He would shove me twice, swipe my photographer's camera with such force it nearly fell to the ground and attempted to rip the microphone out of my hand before eventually saying: "Leave me alone."
At around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday night, Bianchi's daughter was found wandering the apartment complex at 922 SW 3rd St.
After the story aired at 11 p.m., Bianchi arrived at the police station to explain that he called the girl's mom and thought she was on her way to the apartment. Since he was running late for work, Bianchi said he decided to leave her alone. He said he locked the apartment door and pulled a couch in front of his bedroom door.
According to the arrest affidavit: "However, when officers entered the apartment, the couch was not blocking the door completely."
Later that evening, police discovered a grenade and several assault rifles (AR-15's) sitting on a table inside the apartment.
On Thursday afternoon, the little girl involved in this case walked into the courtroom with a pink bow in her long black hair and denim dress. The judge, after learning it was her birthday, started the hearing by inviting her up to his bench and letting her pick out a teddy bear which she showed off with a smile to court staff and reporters sitting nearby.
A representative from the Dept. of Children and Families said the child had been in her father's care for about 11 months after her parents broke up. The mother reportedly left the girl in her father's care because she could not afford to care for the child.
The child's mother told investigators that after learning the girl was missing, she called Bianchi who said that he didn't know where she was.
"She walked the streets looking for her daughter," said the mom's court-appointed attorney. When a protective investigator called her at 1 a.m., she thought it was the father calling from another phone line so ignored it and went to bed.
The state told the judge that since they couldn't find the child's mother until about 9 a.m. Thursday, they don't think she should live with either of her parents. They also argued the mom has "failed to protect" by not sustaining stable contact with her daughter for the past 11 months.
The mom's court appointed attorney, however, argued she is not a risk.
The judge ordered a home study to be performed on the mother and any adults who may be living with her.
Another hearing has been scheduled for Friday afternoon.
That means the child will spend another night -- her birthday night -- in state custody.