Baby left alone in car stolen while parents gambled
HARRIS COUNTY, TX - Parents in Texas are facing child abandonment charges after their 16-month-old was left alone in a car that was taken by thieves.
The child was outside a convenience store Sunday night while his mother, 21-year-old Kimberley Cook and her boyfriend 29-year-old Anthony Blue were inside playing gambling machines.
Surveillance video from the store from earlier in the evening shows the pair with the child in the store playing the machines. They then left and returned at around 11:30 p.m. to continue playing, and left the child in an unlocked, running car in the parking lot to sleep.
Video captures, toddler, mom, and her boyfriend at video game consoles shortly before he was put in the car, and the car was then stolen. More on #abc13 at 5 & 6! https://t.co/udJitKFZha pic.twitter.com/vhJTNiJRiZ— Miya Shay (@ABC13Miya) January 13, 2020
The pair would periodically leave to check on the infant and around midnight discovered that the car had been stolen and alerted police.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office says Cook initially told deputies the pair had left the child outside while they ran into the store and came back out to find the vehicle gone.
Deputies later discovered the two had been playing eight-liner gambling machines. Cook and Blue were subsequently charged with child endangerment.
The car was taken by two men, identified as 19-year-old Vincent Leon Cannady and 18-year-old Jabari Jonathan Davis. The two left the infant in a nearby park where he was found by a ranger locking the park’s gates for the night. Houston police took the child to a local hospital as a precaution.
"It's pretty chilly out here and a lot of wild animals running around out there. Things could've ended very differently had the park ranger not come by here and located the baby," Kerry Clopton with HFD told KTRK .
Police spotted the stolen car on the road around 1 a.m., and the suspects led officers on a chase before finally stopping and being taken into custody.
Davis was charged with kidnapping, auto theft and felony evading. Cannady was charged with auto theft and kidnapping. Both of them were on deferred adjudication for previous felony offenses.