BALTIMORE, Maryland (WBAL) – A 67-year-old man was arrested and charged after he left his 98-year-old mother, who is confined to a wheelchair, sitting alone in a hot truck for nearly five hours while he was inside a Hanover, Maryland casino.
At 6:37 p.m. Monday, officers were called to the parking garage at the Maryland Live Casino after getting a 911 call from a concerned citizen to check on the well-being of an elderly woman who was inside a truck.
The officers found a red Ford truck with North Carolina registration plates with an elderly woman sitting inside by herself, police said.
Officers learned that she had been in the truck alone for an extended period of time — arriving inside the parking garage sometime before 1:42 p.m. with her son, who was driving the vehicle.
Her son then went into the casino and did not leave until 6:17 p.m., leaving the victim alone and without care for nearly five hours, police said.
Investigators said the woman is confined to a wheelchair and is incapable of providing basic needs for herself. The only evidence of food or drink in the vehicle was an empty soda can. The air temperature at the time was 81 degrees, police said, and only one window was partially open when officers found the victim.
“She wasn’t in a position where she could get out or go get help if she needed it,” said police Lt. T.J. Smith.
Detectives said the victim seemed confused and responded incoherently to the arriving officer’s questions, but as the conversations continued, she became more coherent and was able to assist officers in finding her son.
“After talking to her for a little bit, we were able to find out that her son was close by,” Smith said.
Police said the woman was given water and was examined by Anne Arundel County emergency crews. She was determined not to be in medical distress.
Police said at 7:15 p.m., officers were finally able to reach the son on his cellphone. He returned to the vehicle at 7:25 p.m., where he was placed under arrest.
The victim is from Raleigh, North Carolina. The Department of Social Services was advised of the incident.
Police said Dwight Ridgeway McGinnis Jr., of Raleigh, North Carolina, was charged with vulnerable adult neglect.