OCALA, FL (CNN/WKMG) — A 28-year-old Florida father was arrested in Ocala, FL on suspicion of leaving his three children alone in a car for hours while he drank in a bar.
Joshua Delong was arrested early Thursday on three counts of child neglect.
“It was pretty scary,” said Heather Weiss, a bar patron.
Weiss found Joshua Delong’s three children, ages 5,7, and 8 inside his car alone, while he drank inside this bar.
“When I was walking out someone said there's kids in the car, there's kids in the car,” Weiss said.
When Weiss found them, the kids had been screaming for their dad and honking the car horn.
“They had been here for a long time and they told me daddy does it a lot,” she said.
The children had been in the car for four hours, with the windows rolled up, and the keys still in the ignition.
For Weiss, a mother herself, it was hard to believe, “It just kinda hit me that when your looking at a kid and there sitting there crying you do what you can. You see their tired, their sweaty, you wanna do the right thing and get them out of the situation.”
Weiss's boyfriend, a bouncer at Dr. B's, found Delong and she says he, along with two other bouncers stopped him, as he tried to drive off intoxicated, with the kids in the car.
That’s when police say another person at the bar, upset after hearing what happened, hit Delong.
“All I know is he got hit and was on the ground, there was no fight,” Weiss explained.
The entire incident shocked business owners nearby like Kathy Ridin, “I can't imagine why would anyone leave three children in a car it doesn't make any sense.”