San Jose Woman Accused of Leaving Kids in Car Outside Graton Casino, Charged with Child Endangerment

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    NBC Bay Area
    Graton Casino is seen in this file image.

    A San Jose woman was arrested for child endangerment Monday night after she allegedly left two children in a parked car at the Graton Resort & Casino near Rohnert Park, Sonoma County sheriff's officials said Tuesday.

    A sheriff's deputy on patrol noticed a small child sitting in the back seat of a black Honda around 11:40 p.m., sheriff's Sgt. Cecile Focha said.

    The 10-year-old girl told the deputy her mother left her in the car to take care of her 1-year-old brother while she was in the casino, Focha said.

    The car was parked on the upper level of the parking garage with the keys in the ignition in the "on" position, Focha said.

    The deputy called for casino security staff to find the mother while he watched the children. Security arrived 20 minutes later with the mother, Maria Yadira Mondragon-Barboza, 37, of San Jose, Focha said.

    Mondragon-Barboza said she was going to the casino for a few minutes and didn't want to bring the children because the infant was sleeping, Focha said.

    Mondragon-Barboza acknowledged it was dangerous to leave the children alone and was booked into Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of misdemeanor child endangerment.

    The children were picked up by their aunt. Mondragon-Barboza later posted bail and is scheduled to appear in Sonoma County Superior Court on July 22, Focha said.