Woman Left Autistic Child In Freezing Truck To Play Bingo

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A Louisiana woman reportedly left an autistic child in a truck in 35-degree weather while she played bingo on Dec. 8.

Police arrested 53-year-old Leslie Domengeaux after they found the nonverbal autistic boy sitting in the near-freezing vehicle for hours, reports The Advocate.

The Baton Rouge area was experiencing unusually cold weather that day, and had received more than 3 inches of snow, reports WAFB.

The child was found wearing only a T-shirt and pajama pants. The truck's engine was not running, so the vehicle had no heating.

Domengeaux walked out of the bingo hall just as police were investigating.

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While she admitted she was supervising the child, Domengeaux told police she had only been at the Baker Bingo Hall for 20 minutes and said the boy had no developmental disabilities.

Eyewitnesses say she was inside the hall for at least two hours. The boy's mother confirmed with authorities he has autism.

Domengeaux was booked on charges of improper supervision, cruelty to juveniles and child endangerment charges. She was jailed, but has since made bail.

It's just one of many times police have arrested caregivers or parents for allegedly mistreating autistic children.

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In October, a British mother outraged many worldwide when she was filmed dragging her autistic 4-year-old son by a harness along a sidewalk, reports the Daily Mail.

Many called the woman a "bad mother" and police were called to investigate the incident.

The 31-year-old mother later defended her actions, explaining her son had thrown a tantrum and refused to move.

She said the otherwise "very loving" child often has meltdowns while out in a crowd and sometimes attacks people.

"People are making me out to be a bad mum -- I am not a bad mum," she said. "They should ask before they judge me. Only two women came up to me and I said 'he has severe autism. And I would have told that to anyone who asked me, but people just stare at me and him and judge and think he is 'not normal.'"

Not everyone thought that excused her actions.

"Whether he looks upset or not, as a parent you do not drag your child along the floor like a bag of rubbish!!" commented one person in the Daily Mail's comments section.

"I'm also a parent of an autistic boy and I would NEVER have dragged my child along like that!!" added another. "Maybe you should show the poor child that you are there to support him and protect him rather than stalking off dragging him behind you as if he's worthless!"

Sources: The Advocate, WAFB, Daily Mail / Featured Image: Jason Hollinger/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Police photo via The Advocate, Arransc/Wikimedia Commons

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