The owner of a Crescenta Heights day care was arrested after a 2-year-old girl was found with marijuana in her system. After police searched the facility, they found rat droppings and drug paraphernalia. Conan Nolan reports from Glendale for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Aug. 15, 2013.
Police shut down a home daycare center in Glendale and arrested its director after a 2-year-old girl tested positive for marijuana, officials said.
Bina’s Family Child Care Center, in the 3200 block of Orange Avenue, was closed after police found mouse and rat droppings and drug paraphernalia -- a bong -- suggesting marijuana use at the home, said Sgt. Tom Lorenz, a Glendale Police Department spokesman.
The home also had no electricity and the toilets were not working, police said.
The girl was taken to the hospital on Tuesday.
The center’s director, Roubena Hartounian, 50, was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the case, police and online jail records said. A neighbor said was Hartounian was "hard-working" and "very nice." Even though she lives in Tujunga, she uses the Glendale property as a day care center, police said.
A spokesman for the California Department of Social Services told the Glendale News-Press that Hartounian obtained a license in April 2005 for the small child care center for up to eight children.
Department of Social Services records obtained by the NBC4 I-Team show that Hartounina's day care center had several violations dating back to 2008, most recently in May 21, 2013 when a child told officials Hartounian had "pushed" a child "in the kitchen for not asking for permission to go to the restroom."
In another instance in April, officials said they visited the center and found a child unattended while Hartounian was napping upstairs.
During a tour of the facility on April 24, officials "smelled strong odor which resembled urine" and "observed feces on the restroom toilet." On an earlier date the same month, they saw "flies, spider webs and dead spiders on the ceiling in the room where care was provided for children."
Officials also said smoke detectors were either not installed or not working.
Hartounian was fined but her license was never pulled.
Neighbor Brian Brady was surprised by the news.
"It's a nice-looking building from the outside," he said. "The allegations of what was going ... it's just ... you wouldn't think it."
The news made Mary Ann Amado sick.
"My skin is crawling," she said. "I am so disgusted and horrified this is happening in my own backyard."
Parent Jessica Wehner said she's seen children crying when she's walked by the house.
"It would upset my children," Wehner said.
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