Chimayo man leaves kids in casino parking lot while he gambles

SANTA FE COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – A Chimayo man was arrested by Santa Fe County deputies for leaving his 4-year-old and twin 2-year-old kids in the car while he gambled inside the Camel Rock Casino.

It was barely 10 p.m. on Thursday, June 1, when deputies were called to the casino by casino security.

As they walked up, they confronted 34-year-old Andrew Martinez as he was returning to his car in the parking lot.

“How long were you inside the casino?” a deputy asked him.

“By the time I walked in there… and I walked in there… I was about in there for 15 minutes,” Martinez responded.

“And what were you going to go do in there?” a deputy asked.

“Get refreshments,” he claimed.

Martinez also told deputies he wanted to get the burger special, to which the deputy replied, “McDonald’s has specials, I mean you can get a burger for a buck.”

It’s clear the deputy grew irritated with this guy by the minute.

“So if I go watch surveillance, you’re not playing a card game?” the deputy asked.

“Yeah, I was,” Martinez admitted.

“So that’s not getting refreshments. You’re gambling,” he replied.

The deputy checked on the kids in the car, who were quiet but at least okay.

“Do you think it’s a good idea to leave your kids out in the car for 20, 30 minutes while you go gamble a hand, right?” the deputy asked Martinez, who shook his head “no.'”

“This was a poor mistake,” Martinez said.

Deputies also tested Martinez to see if he drank, and they believe he did based on the horizontal gaze nystagmus results. Martinez swore he didn’t, though.

Either way, he went to jail that night and the kids went with mom.

Martinez, who has a lengthy arrest record for drugs, DWI and domestic violence, was charged with three counts of child abuse/abandonment.

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