Sioux Falls, SD
A Dell Rapids couple is facing several charges after taking what some might see as a risky gamble.
29-year-old Nathan Ostermeier and 26-year-old Betsy Hansen are both charged with three counts of abuse and child neglect after they allegedly left their three kids in a van early Tuesday morning outside a local casino while they went inside to play video lottery.
The kids range in ages between eight months old and seven years old.
A witness called the police at about 2 a.m. after spotting the kids in the van; one of them was crying.
Police say the witness saw the couple alternating watching the kids for about a two-hour period, but they eventually left all three of the kids alone for about 30 minutes.
Police say when officers arrived on the scene, they suspected the couple had been using meth.
In court, prosecutors say when police arrested Ostermeier, they found a small bag of methamphetamine in his pocket. When they tried to confiscate it, Ostermeier allegedly put inside his mouth; that's when police had to wrestle it away from him.
Prosecutors told the judge that it was obvious the couple was more interested in playing video lottery than watching their three children.
Ostermeier was arrested back in 2010 for aggravated assault for allegedly threatening a family member with a knife. Hansen is also facing a charge for failing to appear in court for driving with a revoked license.
Bond for Ostermeier is set at $2,500. Hansen's bond is set at $1,000.