The Synn Gentleman’s Club in Van Nuys is seen in a July 2015 file photo. (Credit: Google Maps)
VAN NUYS, Calif. – A father is accused of leaving his baby girl in a parked car outside a California strip club so he could buy lap dances.
On Monday, 24-year-old Auwin Dargin pleaded not guilty to child abuse and now faces up to six years in prison if convicted.
Dargin allegedly locked his 9-month-old girl in the car and left her in the parking lot of the Synn Gentleman’s Club in North Hills for roughly an hour in the middle of the afternoon.
Matthew Nadeau, the assistant manager at the club, told the Los Angeles Times he became suspicious after seeing one of his patrons leave and re-enter the club every 15 minutes.
He went to investigate and says he heard the child’s cries coming from inside the vehicle around 2 p.m.
Nadeau and employees from a neighboring business worked to free the infant by unlocking the door through a small gap in the window. A waitress got water for the little girl, who felt warm and appeared upset, Nadeau said.
Nadeau then alerted his manager, who he said went inside to locate the child’s father – and found Dargin in the middle of a lap dance. Angry over the dance being interrupted, Dargin snapped, “Just give me my baby and I know I am messing up,” Nadeau remembered.
When Nadeau refused to hand over the infant, however, Dargin allegedly ran out of the club, abandoning his daughter.
He didn’t get far, however – police arrested him as he was preparing to flee.