Mom leaves child at McDonald's to go to the casino, police say

Posted at 4:20 PM, Jun 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-23 16:26:08-04

PEORIA, AZ (KNXV) — A woman was arrested late Wednesday night after Peoria police discovered she left her 9-year-old child unsupervised at a McDonald's to go gamble at the Desert Diamond Casino, according to court documents.

According to Peoria police, they received a call from an employee at a McDonald's near 91st and Olive avenues regarding a welfare check for a child who had been left unsupervised for more than an hour at the fast food chain. The employee allegedly told police the child looked "dirty and was disheveled."

The 9-year-old told police that his mother, identified in court documents as Stacy Rupp, 34, was "going to the casino and to a friend's house." Rupp returned to the McDonald's around the same time police arrived and told officers she had been shopping at a Fry's Marketplace located in the same shopping complex.

Rupp allegedly told police she dropped the child off at the McDonald's so he could "play in the play place" while she grocery shopped. However, Rupp did not walk the child into the McDonald's, nor did she leave him with a cell phone or "any means of communications," court documents state.

Police asked Rupp if she purchased anything at Fry's. She provided them with a shopping bag, but police reported the eggs Rupp purchased were not cool or cold "contradicting her story of recently shopping."

Rupp initially denied going to the casino when questioned by police, but later admitted she did go to the Desert Diamond Casino. Surveillance footage from the casino allegedly showed Rupp walking into the facility around 8:30 p.m. and leaving around 10:30 p.m.

Rupp is being charged with one count of child abuse and one count of endangering the life/health of a minor.