Caretaker having 'bad day' arrested for investigation of abuse of disabled adults

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COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — A caretaker arrested for investigation of neglecting two disabled adults under her care told police she hadn't changed their diapers "because she was having a very bad day," according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.

Pamela Kay Rittenhouse, 55, was arrested Wednesday for investigation of two counts of abuse, neglect or exploitation of a disabled person, and one count of public intoxication.

Police were called to perform a welfare check at the home. Rittenhouse, who lives at the house with the men, had called the state case manager for the men "and was not making coherent statements," the report stated.

The caseworker went to the house but was quickly thrown out by Rittenhouse, according to the report. During the brief time she saw the men, the caseworker believed they were "scared" and called police just after 7 p.m.

A Cottonwood Heights police officer who arrived at the house had to knock for several minutes before Rittenhouse answered, the report stated. The officer observed one man in a wheelchair. Rittenhouse initially did not permit the officer to see the second man but then allowed the officer into his room where he found the man with a soiled diaper and his pants around his ankles, according to the report.

Rittenhouse started yelling at the officer that he was upsetting "her boys," according to the report. When the officer stepped outside to talk to the caseworker, Rittenhouse locked the door behind him, the report stated.

While speaking to the caseworker, two of Rittenhouse's friends arrived at the house. They said she had been under a lot of stress and that they would take care of the situation.

But just a few minutes later, those friends called 911 from inside the house, according to the report.

The officer went back inside and found Rittenhouse struggling to stand up and slurring her speech, according to the report. She was trying to kick her friends out of the house, the report stated.

A further inspection of the house showed the men were living in "extremely cluttered and unclean" conditions, according to the report.

When asked when the men were last fed and cleaned, Rittenhouse said she had fed them earlier in the day but had not yet cleaned them because "she was having a very bad day."

One of the men was taken to an area hospital for evaluation, while the other was released to a family member. Both men, in their 30s, are immobile and unable to speak, according to police.


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