Is a need to use the restroom a good excuse for leaving a baby alone in a car?
Most people would answer "no." But it's a marginally better reason than a desperate need to gamble in a casino -- which is presumably why Louiesa West claimed the call of nature had led to her decision shortly before being busted for child abuse in Central City.
According to the arrest affidavit targeting West and her husband, Phillip Perri (it's on view below), Sammy Kent was heading toward his car in a parking garage associated with the Century Casino in Central City on October 14 when he happened to glance into the adjacent vehicle. There, he spotted a baby strapped into a car seat.
The vehicle was locked, so Kent alerted casino security, with a Central City Police officer arriving shortly thereafter. As the officer approached, 22-year-old West did as well. When asked what the hell she was thinking, she answered that she "had only gone to the bathroom."
Nice story -- but one easily disproven by security cameras at the casino. After eyeballing the surveillance footage, officers were able to demonstrate that she had arrived at the casino at 5:37 p.m. and didn't return to the car until 6:40 p.m. -- just over an hour later. And at no time during that span did she return to the vehicle to make sure the baby was okay, police say.
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Perri subsequently returned to the car, too -- and at least he didn't make claims of gastrointestinal distress. He described the choice to leave the baby alone in the car as "a stupid decision."
That's one way of putting it.
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More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Muriel Keer allegedly on computer in different room as her baby drowned in bathtub."