A Long Island woman accused of leaving her four children alone in a car so she could go drinking in a bar this weekend pleaded not guilty to endangerment charges in court on Monday.
Police say Maria Cepparo, 40, of Bayshore, allegedly left her children in an unlocked, unheated car parked outside Momo’s Sports Bar and Grill in Holbrook at around 12:15 a.m. Sunday morning.
The children — a 13-year-old boy who is autistic, an 8-year-old boy and 6-year-old twin daughters — are in the care of their grandmother.
A bar customer allegedly heard the children's cries coming from the 2012 Ford Focus parked illegally in a fire lane alongside the bar and told a bar employee who investigated and then called police, said bar owner Rich Comunale.
Cepparo pleaded not guilty to endangering the welfare of a child and was released without bail.
No one answered the door at her last known address, but a neighbor defended her parenting.
"She's a good person," said neighbor Sandro Casimir. "I see her playing with her kids. I don't see her abuse them."