EXCLUSIVE: NYC steakhouse Bobby Van’s where ABC News producer Dax Tejera, 37, and wife, 33, spent two hours drinking and eating while their two little girls were left alone in nearby hotel – before he died of heart attack outside
- Couple left their daughters – aged five months and two years old – alone at the Yale Club while they enjoyed dinner at Bobby Van’s, a luxury steakhouse
- Tejera had heart attack after leaving the restaurant and died en route to hospital
- His wife, who went with him in the ambulance, asked friends to collect children
- But staff called police after finding the girls had been alone for at least two hours
- Veronica was arrested and charged with ‘acting in a manner injurious to a child’
- She has admitted it was a ‘poor decision’ to leave their daughters on their own
ABC News producer Dax Tejera collapsed and died of a heart attack on a cold concrete slab outside a Manhattan steakhouse after he and his wife left their young daughters alone in a nearby hotel for hours.
DailyMail.com was shown the spot by staffers at Bobby Van’s restaurant on Park Avenue Thursday, after it was revealed as the location where Tejera, 37, had died on December 23.
On Monday, it was revealed Tejera’s widow Veronica was arrested hours after her husband’s death. She was apprehended after it was discovered the couple had left their daughters aged five months and two years-old alone at the Yale Club hotel.
Bobby Van’s sits around a block away from the Yale Club.
Tejera, 37, suffered a heart attack moments after they left the restaurant and was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Veronica, 33, traveled in the ambulance with her husband, while the couple’s friends went to the Yale Club to collect the children.
But Yale Club staff called police at around 11pm, after they discovered the children had been left unattended for at least two hours.
Veronica was arrested by the NYPD at around 12.20am and charged with two counts of ‘acting in a manner injurious to a child’. The children, who were unharmed, were left with their grandmother.
Veronica was released from custody shortly after 4am. She has admitted it was a ‘poor decision’ to leave their daughters on their own. Her spokesman told DailyMail.com on Tuesday afternoon that she was planning her husband’s funeral and would not be comment further.
Police said the children were ‘left alone inside of a hotel room for an extended period of time’.
Veronica, a senior producer at the Washington Post, has insisted the couple ‘had two cameras trained’ on the children as they slept, but admitted it was a ‘poor decision’ to leave them alone.
Bobby Van’s – where a steak dinner and drinks is around $200-a-head – is around a block away from the Yale Club. A staff member at the restaurant told DailyMail.com on Tuesday afternoon that the Tejeras dined there on the evening Dax died.
The staff member said a colleague who was working that night saw Tejera collapse on the sidewalk outside the restaurant after the couple left.
In a statement released on Monday night, Veronica Tejera said: ‘My family and I are devastated by Dax’s sudden passing. He has left behind a heartbroken family, and two daughters he loved with all his heart.
‘When Dax collapsed on December 23rd, I accompanied him in an ambulance to the hospital. I asked both a close friend and my parents to rush to my children’s hotel room to attend to them as I monitored them by camera. The hotel would not allow my friend in and instead called the NYPD.
‘We had two cameras trained on my children as they slept, and I monitored them closely in the time I was away from them. While the girls were unharmed, I realize that it was a poor decision.
‘Our family has suffered a terrible tragedy. I respectfully ask for privacy while my children and I mourn Dax’s death.’
Veronica has been charged with two counts of ‘acting in a manner injurious to a child’. She was given a desk ticket which will require her to appear in court at a future date, police said.
Veronica was mourning with her late husband’s family on Monday night.
The couple were celebrating the holidays in New York and had plans to visit friends and go to Rockefeller Center, it is understood.
The NYPD said it received a 911 call at 11pm over ‘unattended children’ at 50 Vanderbilt Avenue in Manhattan, home of the members-only Yale Club hotel.
They discovered ‘a two-year-old female and a five-month-old female were left alone inside of a hotel room for an extended period of time.’ The PD did not identify the children but their ages are the same as the Tejeras’ daughters.
The Yale Club is an exclusive club for alumni of Yale University. It includes guest rooms that range from budget studios to luxury 556 sq ft suites.
The club also has luxury rooms for weddings and private events, along with fitness facilities and a library.
Veronica’s LinkedIn profile currently lists her as a senior producer at the Washington Post, which she joined in October 2022. Before that, she spent nearly six years at CNN. Her profile states that her achievements there include producing an interview with President Joe Biden on The Lead with Jake Tapper.
She has now launched a fundraiser for the Tejera children’s 529 college account. A link to the giving page, set up through Fidelity Investments, is included in her Instagram bio.
The page says: ‘Dax Tejera passed away suddenly, leaving 2-year-old Sofia and 6-month old Ella without their father. Please support the girl’s education.’