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Ocala, Florida -- Patrons at a bar took things into their own hands early Thursday when they found three children outside the lounge in a car and their 28-year-old father inside drinking for several hours.

According to Ocala police, someone came into Dr. B's to find the father, Joshua Keith Delong, and told him his children -- ages 5, 7, and 8 years old -- were honking the car's horn and screaming, "Daddy!"

Police said Delong was in the bar for more than four hours.

Once outside, Delong tried to leave in the car, but was detained by security officers and someone struck him, knocking him out, police said.

Delong said he had dinner with the children, then left them with their mother, according to the Ocala Star Banner. He said he had three beers at the bar, then a group of men approached, accused him of leaving the children outside, and beat and dragged him outside.

Delong's wife said that he had custody for the past five days, according to the Star Banner.

The children said Delong had left them there "for a long time and he does it a lot."

Delong was arrested early Thursday, treated for his injuries and booked into the Marion County Jail on three counts of child neglect.

It's sad, but here are more child neglect cases:

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