A babysitter is facing a child endangerment charge after she was allegedly found stumbling around a neighborhood, drunk and high on drugs, while she was supposed to be watching a 3-year-old boy.
Police in Arlington, Massachusetts, said they were called to Egerton Road around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday after a resident noticed the woman and the child.
"She looked distraught," said neighbor Barb Mnatzakanian. "I just looked out the window and I saw police cars, there was an ambulance that came."
Upon arrival, police located 51-year-old Susan Devereaux of Medford trying to enter a home. The first officer on scene noticed a strong odor of alcohol coming from her, and after a conversation, learned that she was the child's babysitter and was attempting to enter the wrong house.
Police said it was determined that Devereaux had consumed multiple alcoholic beverages and taken prescription drugs earlier in the day.
Police contacted the boy's mother, who lives on the street, and reunited her with her son.
The boy's parents spoke with necn Thursday night. They were understandably shaken, but they said the child is OK.
The mother told police that she hired Devereaux in the spring using Care.com, a website that specializes in matching customers with babysitters and other caregivers.
The mother said she had used Devereaux several times, both through Care.com and by reaching out to her directly.
Police said they will be contacting the website about the incident.
"I urge everyone to take all possible extra steps you can take while screening a potential babysitter or caregiver," Arlington Police Chief Frederick Ryan said. "A reference or a website's background check should only be one component of a larger vetting process."
Police filed a mandatory report with the state Department of Children and Families before deciding to file charges.
Devereaux is facing a charge of reckless endangerment of a child. She will be arraigned at a later date in Cambridge District Court.
"This incidnet is deeply disturbing, and we are thankful that the child is now back with his family," Care.com said in a statement. "We have proactively reached out to local authorities to assist in the investigation in any way we can. Safety is of paramount importance to Care.com and when any safety incident occurs, it hits us very hard. Our thoughts are with this family tonight."