May 28, 2010

Valerie Tran Wasn’t About To Let A Toddler Spoil Her Fun

La Center, Washington (The Weekly Vice) - Valerie Tran, a 32-year-old Oregon woman, was arrested Tuesday for allegedly leaving her toddler in a car for 13 hours while she was inside a casino gambling and drinking.

According to the La Center Police Department, Tran was recorded by security cameras pulling into a parking space at Chip's Palace Casino around 4 a.m. A security officer on patrol heard the 3-year-old crying in Tran’s Lincoln Navigator SUV in the casino parking lot about 1:30 p.m.

La Center police Sgt. Jerry Lester was eating lunch at the casino when security officers approached him and then led him to the SUV the boy had been abandoned in.

When casino workers paged the car's owner, Tran came forward and identified herself as the car's owner.

Investigators say Tran was intoxicated and couldn't understand why everyone was making such big deal that the child was left unattended.

Tran admitted to having been inside the casino since about midnight and told officers she checked on the boy every few hours.

Security officers say the toddler had soiled his clothes and only had spoiled milk to drink for nourishment.

"He had wet his diaper. His diaper had soaked through into his clothing," Lester said.

Although police hadn’t seen Tran driving the SUV, her measured alcohol level was at 0.14, which is more than the state’s DUI threshold of 0.08.

Tran was booked into the Clark County Jail on a charge of leaving a child unattended in a vehicle.

Child protective services took custody of the boy, who was in good condition.

Haley Mattson
The Weekly Vice

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