Child found alone in casino parking lot, police search for mother

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Reported by: Preston Jones
Updated: 8/09/2013 5:23 pm Published: 8/09/2013 9:30 am

Catoosa police are looking for the mother of a child found alone, without a shirt, in the parking lot of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

Police Chief Kevin McKim told FOX23 witnesses saw the child running around without a shirt on in the parking garage.  

“The child stated that his daddy got mad at him, and kicked him out of the van," said McKim.

Police said this all started just before midnight on Thursday when several people saw the 4-year-old boy in the parking garage. Security immediately came and got him and he is in DHS custody.

Police said shortly after they arrived Harley Hayes, the father of the boy, came back and police arrested him.

“As we approached him and placed him under arrest, he just kind of shrugged his shoulders and laid his head down," said McKim.

He's facing child neglect and endangerment charges.

Police are still searching for Melissa Hayes, the mother of the child, and are working with the casino to review surveillance video to find out more information.

She is currently under a deferred 10 year sentence for child neglect. Police tell FOX23 she’s not supposed to be anywhere near the child.

They are currently waiting on surveillance tapes to see if she was with him at the casino. Officers believe the couple may have been living inside their van at the time.

"It's our understanding by witnesses they saw a lot of clothing and miscellaneous items in the van,” said McKim.

Officers fed the little boy and gave him something to drink. They said he was in good spirits and seemed otherwise okay. He was placed in DHS custody.

The CEO of Cherokee Nation Businesses, Shawn Slaton, released this statement about the incident:

Safety and security is the number one priority for our guests at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. We have thousands of cameras on property and multiple security officers patrolling the casino, hotel and parking areas 24/7. Our security staff is quick to spot anything that may be amiss, and report it immediately. Our relationship with local law enforcement is excellent, and we work in tandem the Catoosa Police Department, Rogers County Sheriff’s office and Cherokee Nation Marshal’s Service. For these reasons, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa remains one of the safest facilities in the region.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

pammio53 - 8/9/2013 6:53 PM
0 Votes
so was he locked in a van or roaming the lot... big difference there... im glad that the boy is safe and taken care of...i dislike casinos

Unwashed Mass - 8/9/2013 3:39 PM
1 Vote
Other reports say the child was locked in a van, and a security guard let him out. Guess you really cant get a straight answer from casino guards.

t town253 - 8/9/2013 2:10 PM
0 Votes
Great. So the mom was already convicted of child neglect in 2010. Now the father doesnt want to tend to that child either. Great sperm and egg combo. Poor baby i hope they find him a good home where he is loved cared and wanted.
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