A Michigan woman who was arrested in April for leaving her children alone in a parked car for hours while she played poker in a nearby bar has been fined $450 and ordered to take so-called parenting classes.
According to media reports, Diem Thi Tran, a 36-year-old Vietnamese immigrant who speaks no English and resides in Grandville, Michigan, USA, was told by Judge Steven Timmers on Thursday that if she paid the fines and met other conditions within six months, her criminal charges would be dismissed.
Tran was at a charity no-limit Texas hold ‘em poker tournament at Woody’s Press Box, a sports bar in the tiny town of Wyoming, Michigan, USA, on April 23, when a policeman found her three children asleep in her car at 1:17 a.m. in the bar’s parking lot, media reports said.
Police arrived on the scene after a passerby noticed the children sleeping in the car and called 911, media reports said.
Police said witnesses reported that the children, ages 5, 10 and 15, were in the car for three hours, media reports said.
The kids’ father, who is not married to Tran, was then called to pick up the children, media reports said.
Tran was charged with child abuse and/or neglect, a misdemeanor, as well as having no car insurance and having defective equipment on the car, media reports said.
On Thursday, Tran used a translator in court to have the proceedings translated from English to Vietnamese, and pleaded guilty to the abuse/neglect charge, media reports said.
The judge told her all charges against her, including the automobile violations, would be expunged from her criminal record after the fines were paid and she attended community classes on proper parenting, media reports said.
The punishment may be for naught, however, www.PokerHelper.com has learned.
A source who knows Tran said that on the day after her arrest, she was seen back in the same bar again playing poker and also heard speaking English.
(E-mail Tom Somach at [email protected])