Woman leaves kids in vehicle
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A San Jose woman was arrested and jailed for child endangerment on Monday, June 30, at the Graton Resort & Casino.

According to a report by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy on patrol in the casino’s parking garage spotted a small child sitting in the backseat of a black Honda. Upon speaking to the child, the deputy learned her mother, Maria Yadira Mondragon-Barboza, 37, had gone inside to gamble and left the child to care for her younger brother.

The deputy called for security to locate Mondragon-Barboza inside the casino. After about 20 minutes, security arrived outside with Mondragon-Barboza, who was visiting from San Jose.

She told the deputy she was only going into the casino for a few minutes and didn’t want to bring her 10-year-old and 1-year-old inside because the younger child was sleeping. She later admitted it was dangerous to leave her children alone.

The car was parked on the upper level, and the keys were inside with the ignition in the on position. The children could have left the car, walked into traffic, fallen from the ledge or become victims of any number of crimes, the Sheriff’s Office report said.

Mondragon-Barboza was booked into Sonoma County Jail for child endangerment, which is a misdemeanor. Mondragon-Barboza produced bail and is scheduled to appear in Sonoma County Superior Court on July 22. An aunt picked up the children.

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