Lincoln, Calif.- An observant security guard at the Thunder Valley Casino saved a newborn baby from potential harm after rescuing her from the car she was left in for 2 ½ hours while her parents gambled Tuesday night.
Thuan Nguyen and Panfila Pho Phan, both 27, of Rancho Cordova, were arrested for willful child endangerment as they returned to their car in the casino’s parking garage around 8 p.m. The temperature in the parking garage was recorded at 54 degrees. The 7-week-old baby was dressed in a one-piece, sleeveless cotton garment.
The security guard was on bicycle patrol on the parking garage’s third floor when he noticed a car parked off to the side, about 100 yards away from other vehicles. Inside, he saw a baby car seat, covered with a blanket. When he pushed on the car to make it move, he saw what he believed to be the baby’s hand moving. He immediately called the Placer County Sheriff’s Department. Concerned for the baby’s well-being, the guard was able to pry the front door open enough to reach inside and unlock the door.
The child was checked by casino medical personnel and taken to the security office. The baby was later taken away by Placer County Children’s System of Care. As deputies were attempting to locate the car’s driver, Nguyen and Phan returned to the car, where they were arrested. Phan first told deputies that they had only been in the casino for a few minutes to use the restroom, but changed her story when told that they were seen on surveillance inside the casino earlier.
Both suspects remain in custody on $50,000 bail each. Today’s scheduled arraignment was postponed until Friday at 8:30 a.m. in the jail courtroom.