A father in Van Nuys, California, is facing child abuse charges after allegedly leaving his 9-month-old daughter locked in a car for an hour while he got lap dances at a strip club.
Auwin Dargin, 24, pleaded not guilty on Monday in connection with the March 9 incident at Synn Gentleman’s Club in North Hills.
Assistant manager Matthew Nadeau was walking through the strip club parking lot when he noticed a customer leaving the club every 15 minutes and returning.
Nadeau checked out the customer's car and saw a baby girl in the back seat.
“We hear crying and then we saw a baby in the car,” he told the Los Angeles Times.
Nadeau and a waitress at the strip bar rescued the child with the help of another person who worked at a neighboring business. They got into the car by pushing down on a car window that was left cracked open.
After Nadeau told his boss about the abandoned child, they figured out she was Dargin's child, and interrupted his lap dance, according to KTLA-TV.
Dargin left the club saying, “Just give me my baby and I know I am messing up,” according to the station.
Nadeau refused to let Dargin have his child and called authorities. The child was placed with Child Protective Services and treated for mild dehydration at a local hospital before being returned to her mother, according to NBC Los Angeles.
Dargin's next court date is May 3. If convicted, he faces up to six years in state prison, according to the D.A.'s office.