Mother Charged With Leaving Children Home Alone While at the Casino

Deputies said the mother's four children and one grandchild were found wandering the neighborhood, asking for food.

By Justin Finch
|  Wednesday, Apr 9, 2014  |  Updated 11:33 PM EDT
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A Pompano Beach mother is facing five counts of child abuse charges after police say she left her four children and one grandchild home alone while she went gambling at a casino. NBC 6's Justin Finch reports.

A Pompano Beach mother is facing five counts of child abuse charges after police say she left her four children and one grandchild home alone while she went gambling at a casino. NBC 6's Justin Finch reports.

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Mom Left Children Alone While at Casino

A Pompano Beach mother is facing five counts of child abuse charges after police say she left her four children and one grandchild home alone while she went to a casino.
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A Pompano Beach mother is facing five counts of child abuse charges after police say she left her four children and one grandchild home alone while she to a casino.

Deputies said neighbors saw three of 33-year-old Crystal Hernandez's children, who are between 2- and 12-years-old, wandering the 600 block of Southwest 9th Street and asking for food. A neighbor called child protective services to investigate the situation.

When investigators arrived, they inspected Hernandez's home and found there was feces on the kitchen counter and the floor.

Dirty clothes were thrown around the residence, along with old food, an arrest report said. There was also no food in the cupboards and minimal food in the refrigerator, along with a smell of feces and urine that investigators said was "almost unbearable to stand."

Child protective services removed the five children. It is unclear who will retain custody of the children.

Hernandez, who was arrested Tuesday, was released Wednesday on $5,000 bond.

As she was being released from the Paul Rein Detention Facility in Pompano, Hernandez covered her face with a bag, but answered reporters' questions about the allegations.

"Are you a good mother Crystal?"

"Yes, I am," she said.

Hernandez defended herself saying, "I am a good person. I take care of my kids."

She did not comment on the allegations that there was feces all over her apartment, but she said she has plenty of food in her fridge and that it isn't moldy.

Hernandez denies gambling, but when asked if she was out trying to find a new job, Hernandez said, "No, I was out trying to get my rent paid."

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