Parents Arrested After Reportedly Leaving Children Home Alone To Go To Parx Casino
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By Elizabeth Hur
BENSALEM, Pa. (CBS) - Upset and confused, a toddler was found wandering in a supermarket parking lot at 1 a.m. Friday.
Police later learned the boy and his brother were left home alone by their parents so they could gamble at the Parx casino in Bensalem.
Eyewitness News spoke to the Good Samaritan who found the child.
Robert Bannon explained, “I expected to see blood when I picked him up because it was like a blood curdling scream.”
Bannon, with a toddler nephew of his own, could not believe his eyes when he saw an unsupervised toddler running around the parking lot of the Giant store on 4001 New Falls Road.
Bannon said, “He looked scared to death. He was very scared. At first I was waiting to see a parent to start yelling at him because normally when you see kids running across, parents are a few feet behind yelling.”
But when that didn’t happen, Bannon immediately sprang into action.
“I told my girlfriend to call 911 and I ran across and got the kid, he was trying to get into Giant like he’s been there before.”
Bannon says police arrived within minutes and took over from there.
According to court documents, the 2-year-old boy could not speak but pointed in the direction of an apartment complex connected to the supermarket by a footbridge. Police eventually located the child’s home which turned out to be about the length of a football field away from where he was found.
“It shocked me,” Bannon reacted.
Shocked to learn the child’s 4-year-old brother was sleeping inside with their parents nowhere to found.
According to police, their investigation revealed that the children’s mother had texted her next door neighbor earlier:
“Hey, if we go to the casino around 11 or so can u listen for the boys they are sleeping right now.”
Followed by another text that read:
“Guess u are sleeping.”
Police say with help from that neighbor, they tracked down and arrested 24-year-old Nicole Donahue and 29-year-old Ryan Feyh. The two initially told police they were out running errands but later admitted they were at the Parx casino gambling.
The couple’s neighbor Crysta Farmer said, “He could have been hit by a car, he could have gotten kidnapped, he could be on a milk box by now.”
Another neighbor Geri Lerner added, “They seemed nice, they seemed like they got along. They seemed like they loved their children. I’m just so glad the boys are alright.”
Court documents stated the couple’s children are now in the custody of other family members. Donahue and Feyh were charged with Endangering Welfare of Children and Recklessly Endangering Another Person. Both were sent to jail unable to post bail.