Caretaker Mary Holly went gambling and left 95-year-old Belle Sapstein alone in a car, police say

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. - A Boca Raton caretaker went gambling at a Coconut Creek casino on Sunday and left a 95-year-old woman sitting alone in a car for almost two hours, according to police.

The woman, who suffers from dementia, was not hurt.

Mary Holly, 53, who said she is a licensed nurse, fainted Monday during her initial appearance in a Broward courtroom. She's charged with one count of neglect of an elderly person.

When Holly was taken into custody on Sunday, there were two active warrants out for her arrest in Palm Beach County on unrelated charges of exploitation of an elderly person and grand theft, according to a police report. Details of those cases were not available Monday because of the Presidents Day holiday.

According to police, a visitor to the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, 5550 NW 40th Street, called police Sunday after noticing Belle Sapstein had been sitting alone inside of a silver Saturn for at least an hour. The car is registered to the elderly woman.

A Coconut Creek Police officer wrote in his report that Sapstein had no signs of distress, but that she couldn't answer any basic questions about herself or about her medical history. The woman was left alone without food, drink or a cellphone, according to the report.

Holly reportedly returned to the car and told police she thought it was okay to leave Sapstein in the car, according to the arrest report.

Surveillance video at the casino showed that Holly drove up to the parking lot at 4:49 p.m. Sunday. The officer was dispatched to the casino at 7:07 p.m., the report said.

Sapstein was taken to Northwest Medical Center in Margate. She was still listed as being a patient there on Monday afternoon.

On Monday morning, Holly needed medical help when she fainted during her bond court hearing. She returned about half an hour later sitting in a wheelchair.

Broward County Circuit Judge Louis Schiff ordered Holly to be held on a $6,000 bond and to have no contact with Sapstein. He also prohibited her from taking care of any patients until her criminal case is resolved.

"Had it not been for the Good Samaritan, this could've been a whole different scenario," Schiff said.


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