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Day care owner arrested after 2-year-old tests positive for marijuana

August 15, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A day care director is facing child endangerment charges after a toddler in her care tested positive for marijuana.

Police say 50-year-old Roubena Hartounian was arrested after investigators learned a 2-year-old girl at her Glendale residential day care facility had eaten marijuana.

The incident occurred at Bina's Family Child Care in the 3200 block of Orange Avenue.

The girl's parents say they noticed their child was lethargic after they picked her up from Bina's Family Child Care Tuesday.

The 2-year-old fell ill at home and was transported to the hospital where she tested positive for THC. The child's parents believe she consumed the marijuana at the day care.

On Wednesday, police served a search warrant at the residential day care facility and found it to be in deplorable conditions. Officials discovered there was no power and rodent droppings were scattered inside.

Police also discovered the daycare's toilets were broken and that there were exposed knives, dirty dishes and drug paraphernalia.

Code enforcement shut the facility down. Calls to the day care now immediately lead to voicemail.

Police said they had to turn away eight families who tried dropping their children off at the day care Wednesday.

Neighbors said they had their reservations about Bina's Family Child Care. Many noted seeing kids crying in the window and toddlers walking outside alone.

"I know a lot of people at the school said that they have reported her a couple of times," said Tawni Smith of La Crescenta.

"There would be like a little boy in the window crying and crying really loud and my daughters would stop and stare at them. They were very concerned and then the lady would come out, she was on the cellphone, come around, look, go back in the house and shut the blinds," said Jessica Wehner of Glendale.

Neighbors are now left wondering why something wasn't done sooner.

"If I were a parent with a child in a day care center, I would make a point of dropping in unexpectedly periodically," said Kathy of Glendale.

Hartounian faces child neglect and endangerment charges. She has since posted bail. The city of Glendale has yellow-tagged the house, which means it is uninhabitable.

A license number is posted on a board outside of the day care center but appears to be whited out.

The 2-year-old who tested positive for THC remains hospitalized at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.


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