Cops Say Man Left Grandma With Dementia In Cold Car For 16 Hours While He Gambled
Police say she had been locked inside the car wearing a dirty diaper and that she had to be cut free from a dangerously tight seatbelt.
MILWAUKEE, WI — According to the Milwaukee Police Department, a local man has been arrested for allegedly locking his 76-year-old, dementia-stricken grandmother inside a car in the parking garage of a casino, whereupon he entered the facility and gambled for almost 16 hours.
According to a criminal complaint, Wesley Brown, 29, left his grandmother in a vehicle in the parking lot of the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino in Milwaukee on December 14, 2018.
While Brown reportedly gambled inside the casino, the 76-year-old woman was said to have been trapped in her seat with no food or water as the temperature dropped to 27 degrees.
The complaint states that at around 4:30 A.M., a security guard noticed a parked car with fogged up windows, indicating that someone was inside it. The guard said he approached the vehicle and saw a woman yelling and pounding on a window. The security officer said he then tried to open the door, but the car’s child-safety locks had been activated, making it impossible.
Brown was reportedly paged inside the casino and came out to unlock the vehicle. In the meantime, casino management called the police who said they showed up to find the woman wearing a soiled diaper and constricted with a seatbelt so tight it had become embedded in her skin and required being cut off her to be released.
Investigators also wrote that the woman “seemed confused” and “didn’t understand questions.”
The complaint further alleges that Brown defended himself, telling the responders that he had checked on his grandmother at the 13-hour mark and “she appeared to be OK.” Brown also reportedly said he “believed there were some chips and candy in the back seat,” but allegedly admitted that he hadn’t brought her anything to eat or drink.
In addition, the complaint claims that Brown identified the woman as his grandmother, said she was afflicted with dementia, and told the cops that he was her primary caretaker.
While the incident occurred last December, police say a search warrant filed in May has turned up ATM security-camera footage from Potawatomi between August and December. The video, the police claim, shows someone withdrawing cash from the woman’s bank account inside the casino. According to WITI-TV, “Investigators believed the video would show Brown was the one taking the money out, and then spending it at the casino.”
After being arrested, court documents indicate Brown was released on $5,000 signature bond on December 19. He is scheduled to be back in court on July 19, where he will reportedly face charges of intentionally subjecting an individual at risk to abuse likely to cause bodily harm, false imprisonment, and second-degree recklessly endangering safety.
In the meantime, the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino released the following statement: “We appreciate the vigilance of our security team in recognizing the situation and then taking action. We also thank the Milwaukee Police Department for their assistance. The safety and security of everyone on property is our top priority.”