Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Public safety

Former NFL player accused of leaving toddler in car while he went in strip club

A 41-year-old Redington Beach man faces a charge of child abuse after authorities said he left a 3-year-old girl alone in a car while he went into a strip club.

Monty Ray Grow, 41, was arrested Sunday night at the Diamond Dolls club, on U.S. 19 near Clearwater. Grow is a former NFL player and also was a Florida Gator. He played for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995 and the Kansas City Chiefs in '94, according to ESPN.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said Grow was supposed to be caring for the toddler when he went into the strip club.

Authorities did not say how Grow knows the child, but said that at 9:09 p.m., the girl's mother tracked Grow's vehicle — using GPS — to the club. She and the girl's grandparents arrived there six minutes later, and got the girl, who was uninjured, out of the vehicle.

Then they called deputies.

As deputies arrived on scene and investigated, the Sheriff's Office said, Grow ran out of the club. It was 9:48 p.m. by that time.

Grow admitted to leaving the child unattended, officials said, but claimed he had only stopped by the club for a few minutes to collect money he lent to a club employee.

Records show Grow was released from jail early Monday after posting $5,000 bail.

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