Natalie Fouche, Albert Thomas Owens arrested after leaving toddler alone in casino hotel, police say

The parents of a 20-month-old were arrested after allegedly leaving the boy alone inside a Seminole Hard Rock Casino hotel room while the two went out for dinner and drinks.

Natalie Fouche, 30, of Miami, and Albert Thomas Owens, 36, of Miramar, each were charged with one count of cruelty toward a child and were ordered to remain in jail on $1,000 bond.

Investigators with the Seminole Police said the child was left inside the room for at least 45 minutes. Records show Tuesday was the father's birthday.

According to officials, the couple put the child to sleep on a bed and unplugged the telephone so he wouldn't be disturbed.

A casino security supervisor received an alert shortly before 7:30 p.m. Tuesday indicating that a telephone was unplugged from a wall socket.

"That calls for an automatic security check as standard procedure," said police spokesman Gary Bitner.

The supervisor found the child sleeping on the bed and waited 20 minutes before calling police, said Bitner.

The parents returned to the room at 8:05 p.m. and told officials they had had gone to the casino to eat and drink. They admitted to police that the child was left alone at least for 45 minutes, Bitner said.

The two were taken to Broward County Jail, where they were still being held late Wednesday, according to records.

The child's mother, a Broward College nursing student, said she only had about $500 for bond. The father, who indicated he is unemployed, said he had no money.

The child was released to the custody of a relative, said Paige Patterson-Hughes, spokeswoman with the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Broward Judge John "Jay" Hurley ordered that the parents have no contact with the child until a hearing to decide custody issues. That hearing has not been scheduled.


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