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Allegedly Drunk, High Babysitter Charged With Reckless Endangerment

ARLINGTON (CBS) — A babysitter hired through a popular website was charged with reckless endangerment after police say they found her stumbling around a neighborhood drunk and high while watching a young boy.

Susan Devereaux, 51, of Medford, was taken into custody around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday after neighbors saw her stumbling on Egerton Road in Arlington with the 3-year-old boy she was watching.

They said she smelled of alcohol and was trying to enter the wrong house. Police later determined she had several alcoholic beverages, and had mixed them with prescription drugs. She was taken to the hospital and arrested.

Police said Devereaux was known to them for motor vehicle and stolen property offenses in multiple communities.

Officers reunited the child with his mother, who lives on the street. The three-year-old was unharmed.

“Overall, they were happy that their son was safe and sound,” said Arlington Police Captain Richard Flynn.

Police said Devereaux was stumbling drunk and high on this street while she was supposed to be watching a 3-year-old boy. (WBZ-TV)

Police said Devereaux was stumbling drunk and high on this street while she was supposed to be watching a 3-year-old boy. (WBZ-TV)

The child’s mother said she hired Devereaux through the website Care.com this past spring, and has used her several times.

“They were surprised,” said Captain Flynn. “They had used this person multiple times in the past.”

In January, a babysitter hired from the same site in Salem was arrested and charged with child endangerment after police said she was drunk on the job.

In a statement, the company called the incident “deeply disturbing,” and said they are thankful the child was reunited safely with his mother.

“We have proactively reached out to local authorities to assist in the investigation in any way we can,” the statement read. “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.”

Arlington Police Chief Fred Ryan urged residents to be careful when hiring a babysitter or caregiver from the internet.

“A reference or a website’s background check should only be one component of a larger vetting process,” Chief Ryan said in a release. “Never rely solely on one reference or a single report.”

The decision to charge Devereaux was made after Arlington Police contacted the Department of Children and Families.

Police said she will be arraigned in Cambridge District Court at a later date.

Jillian Gauvin is a nanny in the same neighborhood. She uses a different website that also touts background checks.

“It’s scary on our end it kind of makes us all look bad. Obviously, we’re not all like that,” said Gauvin.

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