A mother left her 9-year-old child alone at McDonald’s to gamble at a casino, because “he drives me crazy.”
Police say Stacy Rupp, 34, of Phoenix, Ariz. dropped off her 9-year-old son at McDonald’s in Peoria on Wednesday evening at 8:30 p.m., then hit Desert Diamond Casino, located one mile away. An employee observed the unsupervised “dirty and disheveled” boy and called the police. Staff showered the boy with a coloring book, ice cream and cookies, read a police report.
Officer Brandon Sheffert of the Peoria Police Department tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the boy was not upset. He said his mother dropped him off in order to gamble but noted, “She always comes back.” Rupp had left her son unattended for two hours.
Stacy Rupp initially told police she was grocery shopping at the nearby Fry's Marketplace, but she was unable to provide proof. https://t.co/MZw9WDdXls— azcentral (@azcentral) June 21, 2019
Rupp arrived minutes after law enforcement — and with excuses. According to the police report, Rupp first told officers she was grocery shopping at Fry’s Marketplace, located in the same shopping area as McDonald’s.
Then, she admitted she “messed up,” and went to the casino. “He drives me crazy and steals my money,” said Rupp of the boy in the police report. According to AZ Family, court documents state Rupp "did not provide a cell phone or any type of means of communication to the victim for him to get in contact of her in case of an emergency.”
Video surveillance tapes from the casino show Rupp visiting and leaving at two different times.
Rupp, who has other children, was arrested and charged with child abuse and endangerment.
On Friday, a judge considered issuing Rupp a no-contact order with her son. “That’s going to be detrimental to my son,” she said tearfully. “He’s a mama’s boy.” The judge reportedly decided against the order.
A future court date for Rupp has been set for July.
A neighbor told AZ Family that the 9-year-old has been spotted running around in his underwear and added that the incident “doesn’t surprise me at all.”
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