ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY) – A St. Landry Parish woman is accused of leaving her 2-year-old alone in a car at a local truck stop/casino while she was off gambling.
The mother, Pashuia Thomas of Opelousas, was arrested following an investigation.
Christine Johnson of Lawtell, and Leonard Ray Boagni of Opelousas were also detained and arrested following an investigation.
The child was released to the custody of his grandfather.
It happened Friday, August 2 when detectives say they were notified by the business that a security officer and employee witnessed a child alone in a vehicle with the windows slightly down.
After reviewing video footage detectives say they initially observed the 2-year-old inside the vehicle with the mother’s friend, Christine Johnson.
Further evidence showed that Thomas and Johnson would take turns playing in the casino each taking about 5 minutes to play.
Eventually, Thomas went into the casino and stayed approximately 45 minutes, leaving the child in the car with Johnson, detectives said.
An employee who was leaving the truck stop saw the child walking alone towards the dine-in part and picked the child up while searching the parking lot for the parents, detectives said.
After finding no one, the employee walked back to the dine-in area and was met by a Leonard Ray Boagni who stopped the employee and told her that the child was with them and that the child belonged to his girlfriend.
Johnson, meanwhile, is seen exiting the car walking into the casino.
Boagni then took the child back to the car and placed him in the backseat and left him alone, then walked inside the casino and exited with Johnson, only for both to walk back inside, detectives said.
Detectives said Johnson was then seen several times entering and exiting the casino while the child remained in the car alone.
Police were then called, and all 3 suspects were placed under arrest and charged with child desertion.