A father from Van Nuys, California, was charged with leaving his 9-month-old baby in the car while inside of a strip club to get a lap dance.
Auwin Dargin pleaded not guilty to one count of child abuse after his baby was found inside of his car on March 9, where she had reportedly been for an hour. Synn Gentleman's Club Assistant Manager Matthew Nadeau found the baby after hearing her crying, reports Los Angeles Times.
"We hear crying and then we saw a baby in the car," Nadeau told the Los Angeles Times. He and a waitress became suspicious after seeing a customer leave the club every 15 minutes. The car was partially open, he said.
Nadeau got his cousin to squeeze his arm through the cracked window of the car and unlock it, and removed the girl from her seat and handed her to the waitress. The waitress then brought the baby a cup of water.
"Just give me my baby and I know I am messing up," 24-year-old Dargin reportedly told Nadeau after the club's manager approached the father about the incident. Nadaeu, who has five daughters, refused to hand over the infant.
"I have daughters -- over my dead body am I going to let you take this baby today," Nadeau told Dargin. "You can leave, but you are not leaving with your baby.” When management approached Dargin about the incident, he was reportedly in the middle of receiving a lap dance.
Dargin then accused Nadeau of trying to kidnap his daughter, before running out of the club alone and leaving her with employees.
As Dargin was leaving, police arrived and arrested him.
"I thought it was unbelievable. I could not believe a father would put his child in that type of danger," LAPD officer Charles Chacon told KNBC. Chacon said Dargin told officers he "was not thinking" when he left his daughter in the car.
The girl was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for mild dehydration. She was later placed in the care of Child Protective Services, reports KNBC.