- Associated Press - Sunday, March 1, 2020

LINCOLN, R.I. (AP) - A Rhode Island father who wanted to gamble at a Rhode Island casino has been charged with leaving his 3-year-old autistic son alone outside in a car while he placed bets.

The Rhode Island State Police said 38-year-old Mitchell Cuevas of Providence was arrested and charged Saturday with cruelty to or neglect of a child, and obstructing an officer in the execution of duty.

Patrons of the Twin River Casino alerted the State Police Gaming Enforcement Unit they saw the child abandoned in a vehicle parked in the casino hotel lot. Police said the child had been left unattended in the locked vehicle with no heat, in 35-degree weather, for approximately a half hour.

After locating Cuevas, who was placing bets at the casino’s sports book, police said the father provided the officers with false information about the identity of the child and the child’s mother. After the boy had been positively identified, the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families was notified and the child was turned over to his mother.

Cuevas was released on a $2,000 bail. It’s unclear if he has obtained an attorney.

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