Father accused of leaving son in car while he went drinking

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Massachusetts man is accused of leaving his 9-year-old son alone in a car at a downtown Providence parking garage while he went drinking.

MICHAEL MCGOWAN
Michael McGowan (Mugshot courtesy of Providence police)

Police said the manager of a Pine Street parking garage called police just after midnight Saturday when he saw the boy in the car. According to a police report, officers “observed the keys in the ignition and the vehicle was running and locked.”

The boy was then taken to the Providence Public Safety Complex and was picked up by a relative.

Police eventually caught up with 33-year-old Michael McGowan, who they say was drunk at a tavern.

He was taken to Rhode Island Hospital for treatment and was arraigned in family court on Monday on child neglect charges.

The boy told police his father drove the car and parked it in the garage, before leaving him unattended.

The boy’s mother told Eyewitness News that she has been experiencing a wide range of emotions — including frustration, anger, and concern. She said she is just thankful her son is alright.

According to the woman, her ex-husband has had issues in the past — but this is the first time he has put their son’s safety at risk.

The case is being handled in family court.

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