Lancaster nurse pleads not guilty to stealing patient's medicine

LANCASTER, Ky. (WKYT) - A nurse police say admitted stealing prescription drugs from the nursing home where she worked faced a judge for the first time Monday.

Lancaster police arrested Tina Abassi on Friday. They've charged her with eight different offenses but say there may be more to come.

It was a call from the father of her child that sent police to Tina Abassi's home.

"He called dispatch, asked us to go check on the welfare of his daughter," said Lancaster Chief of Police Rodney Kidd.

Chief Kidd says those officers spotted the two-year-old child, but couldn't find anyone else at the home. He says they knocked on the front and back doors for several minutes before Abassi finally answered.

"At that time they determined that she was under the influence of some type of intoxicant," Kidd said.

And the officers had reason to believe there may have still been drugs in the home.

"There was a strong smell of marijuana in the home," he said.

Kidd says Abassi led those officers to some marijuana, when they spotted several prescription vials.

"She stated they were not hers, that she had obtained some prescription medication from her place of employment," Kidd said.

Abassi is a practical nurse at the Golden Living Center nursing home in Stanford. Her arrest report says she admitted taking medication from patients for personal gain.

Center administrators say an internal investigation is ongoing.

Those officers took Abassi to police headquarters where she was placed under arrest. Social workers were called to the house to help police with the young child.

Abassi is charged with wanton endangerment, endangering the welfare of a minor and six drug related offenses including trafficking.

Lancaster Police are working with the nursing home administrators. They say more charges could come out of this, and not only for Abassi.

"If we find that there was involvement by other people, involved in this, charges could be forthcoming on other individuals," Kidd said.

At her arraignment Monday morning Abassi pled not guilty to all eight charges.

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