SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Handcuffed, in tears and in jail isn't where 23-year-old Brad Porter Jr. thought he'd end up after going to Casino Arizona in Scottsdale on Sunday afternoon.
According to court documents, Salt River police arrested Porter and his girlfriend, 25-year-old Jessica Lopez, after the couple left Lopez's 5-year-old son in their car while they gambled inside.
Porter admits being there for a couple of hours, but told 12 News they went to check on the little boy, who was sleeping, every 30 minutes or so.
“I wasn't trying to put him in harm's way, if anything I was just trying to provide something for us so we would be OK for the next couple of days,” Porter said in a jail house interview at the Lower Buckeye Jail.
Porter, who isn't the boy's biological father but is helping raise him, says the family is homeless and after losing his job, he thought gambling was the quickest and most legal way to double all the money they had, $40.
“It was like an immediate situation and I didn't want us sleeping in the car,” he said. “We had been sleeping at Tempe Town Lake for the past three or four nights.”
A tearful Lopez appeared before a judge Monday morning and is being held without bond due to a previous drug arrest.
Court documents show in addition to leaving her son in the car, investigators say they also found marijuana and beer inside the vehicle and believed the couple had been drinking.
“I should have made better decisions for our family,” he said through tears, “so my son would be OK right now and she (Lopez) would be OK, but they're not.”
Porter and Lopez are both facing child abuse, neglect and drug charges.
Court papers show the Arizona Department of Child Services was contacted.