CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. - Police say they are investigating an incident of "total chaos" that occurred overnight at an adult home in Cambridge.
Police say a resident at the Cambridge Guest Home for Retired Adults woke up around 1 a.m. Thursday morning and became nervous when she could not find any attendants in the building.
Police say the frightened resident then pulled the fire alarm to get some help, leading to the evacuation of the home.
Responding police and firefighters were also unable to locate any employees inside the facility when they arrived on scene.
It was about an hour later that police say they were finally able to locate the sole attendant asleep on a couch in the recreational room. Police say they found sleeping pills inside her pocketbook.
The Washington County District Attorney's Office has now charged the attendant, Kelly Hirayama-Watkins, with 31 counts of endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person; one count for every person in the home.
Owners of the Cambridge Guest Home say they immediately fired Hirayama-Watkins after the incident Wednesday night.
The District Attorney says Hirayama-Watkins has a bit of a criminal history. She is currently on probation for a felony driving while intoxicated conviction in 2011, after crashing into a Stewart's Shop.
"We are incredibly upset that this incident occurred last night, and we are fully cooperating with the police investigation," said owner Kristen Batchelder in a statement to NEWS10. "In hiring and training this employee, we complied with the Department of Health regulations, but employee was clearly in direct violation of her job responsibilities. However, we believe that some of the details of the report are not fully accurate, and we will continue to thoroughly investigate the situation. We are grateful that no resident experienced injury as a result of this incident. We are in the process of implementing additional measures to ensure that an event like this does not occur in the future, and as always are committed to the safety and well being of our residents."
Hirayama- Watkins' son, Harley Colton, is coming to his mother's defense. He admits she made a mistake, but explains she was overworked and underpaid. He says she was dealing with dozens of seniors at the Cambridge guest home who weren't meant to be at an assisted living residence.
"She's never missed a day of work. She's a hard worker," he says.
But a closer look at her criminal history
reveals she's on probation from her DWI conviction. he tells NEWS10 ABC the company was aware of her criminal history, but the company has not commented and says it will not until the investigation is complete.