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Daycare operator arrested after girl, 2, tests positive for pot

August 16, 2013|By Veronica Rocha and Jason Wells

The operator of a La Crescenta daycare center was free on bond Friday after she was arrested when a 2-year-old girl under her care was hospitalized for being under the influence of marijuana.

Roubena Hartounian, 50, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of child neglect and endangerment at her residential daycare center, Bina's Family Child Care.

It was closed down after inspectors reported finding rat and mouse droppings throughout the center. There also was no power at the location.

In previous visits, KCAL-TV reported that state inspectors found feces on toilet seats and the distinct odor of urine throughout. The kitchen was also filthy and strewn with knives in reach of children, inspectors said.

During the investigation, Glendale police turned away eight parents who brought their children to the center in the 3200 block of Orange Avenue.

The investigation started when the girl’s parents picked her up from the daycare early Tuesday evening and found that she was lethargic, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz told the Glendale News-Press.

Hours later, the child’s condition wasn’t improving so they took her to Verdugo Hills Hospital. 

At about midnight, police responded to the hospital, where doctors confirmed the child tested positive for THC, an active ingredient of marijuana, Lorenz said.

The parents told police they believed their daughter “consumed” marijuana at the residential daycare, he said. 

The girl was later transported to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for monitoring.

In April 2005, Hartounian obtained a license for the small child-care center for a maximum of eight children, said Michael Weston, spokesman for the California Department of Social Services.

Someone is required to reside at the home as a condition of the license, but Hartounian reportedly told Glendale police she used the home for daycare services only.


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