HANOVER, Md. (WJZ)—A North Carolina man is charged with leaving his 98-year-old mother alone in a car for nearly five hours while he allegedly gambled at Maryland Live! Casino.

Police responded to the parking garage of Maryland Live! Casino around 6:30 p.m. Monday. Inside a red Ford truck with North Carolina registration plates, they found an elderly woman seated alone.

Officers learned that she had been in the truck alone for nearly five hours. She arrived at the garage sometime before 1:42 p.m. with her son, 67-year-old Dwight Ridgeway McGinnis Jr.,of Raleigh, N.C.

The elderly woman is confined to a wheelchair and is incapable of providing the 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 of the report was 81 degrees, and the victim was found inside the vehicle with one window only partially open.

When initially approached, she seemed confused and responded incoherently to the officer’s questions. As the conversations continued, she became more coherent and was able to assist officers in locating her son. She was provided with water and Anne Arundel County EMS was summoned to examine her. She was determined not to be in medical distress.

McGinnis left the casino at 6:17 p.m.

About an hour later at around 7:15 p.m., officers were able to reach the son on his cell phone.

He returned to the vehicle at 7:25 p.m. and was placed under arrest. He is charged with vulnerable adult neglect. He was also served with an outstanding warrant for failing to appear for a driving suspended charge.

The victim is also from Raleigh, N.C. The Department of Social Services has been notified.

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