Crime & Justice

La Crescenta child care center closed after 2-year-old tests positive for marijuana

Photograh by Perfect Pose via Flickr Creative Commons

Bina's Family Child Care in La Crescenta has been closed by authorities following allegations that it allowed a 2-year-old girl to consume marijuana and provided poor conditions for the children being cared for there. It received several visits from Social Services in recent months, according to a report. Its proprietor, Roubena Hartounian, has been arrested.

The 2-year-old was brought to the hospital by her parents because she was lethargic, says Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz. After examining the child, it tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

On Wednesday, authorities declared the center uninhabitable.

Authorities previously talked to proprietor Hartounian, 50, after the girl tested positive for marijuana to determine if she could have consumed marijuana there, Lorenz said.

"They discovered some unsanitary conditions," said Lorenz. "Rat droppings, mouse droppings, unkempt kitchen. They discovered that there was the lack of electricity, and the fact that the toilets didn't even... the toilets were not functioning."

Detectives obtained a search warrant and found marijuana paraphernalia at the facility, Lorenz said.

Previous visits by Social Services revealed other alleged violations, according to a report. Allegations against the facility operator include her yelling at and pushing children.

In an April visit, Social Services reported flies and dead spiders on the ceiling, a strong urine smell and others living in the home who weren't cleared to be at the facility, according to a report. A visit later that month included a continuing urine smell, and authorities also observed feces on the restroom toilet. During a visit the following month, authorities report observing her telling two children who were dropped off to hide.

Hartounian was placed under arrested for child endangerment and neglect, Lorenz said, and booked in Glendale city jail on $100,000 bail. She was released on bond and is scheduled to appear in court in September.

The visit also revealed other alleged violations, according to a report, including Hartounian allegedly telling two children to "hide behind the garage." One child told officials that Hartounian allegedly pushed another kid for not asking for permission to use the restroom.