Bayonne school security guard arrested on
Child Abuse charges
Bayonne, NJ – A security guard in the city’s school system has been arrested on the charges of child abuse, endangering the welfare of a child and offering alcohol to an underage person, officials said.
Police said today that Dominick F. Novella Jr., 31, of Avenue B was arrested last Tuesday at 12:14 p.m. on the 200 block of Avenue B in connection to a police investigation into allegations made on March 2.
Bayonne school board member Christopher Munoz confirmed today that Novella is employed by the school board, but declined to say anything further, including whether disciplinary action has been taken.
The only school employee with the last name “Novella” is listed in 2015-2016 school records as Dominick Novella. Hired on Sept. 1, 2013, his official job title is “Security Officer” and his annual salary is $30,140, records state.
The charges against the school security guard are being announced just two months after two Bayonne teachers’ aides were arrested on cocaine charges.
City police didn’t elaborate today on Novella’s charges, or say whether his alleged victim is a student in the Bayonne school system. They directed inquiries for additional information to court documents, which couldn’t be immediately obtained.
Bayonne school board president Joseph Broderick, Superintendent of Schools Patricia McGeehan and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
On March 8 this year, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said in a statement that “allegations” against Novella were brought to the prosecutor’s office and “they were taken very seriously.”
“A subsequent investigation into the matter was conducted and that investigation has been concluded. No charges have been filed,” she said then.
It’s not clear whether the HCPO reopened the case afterward, or if Bayonne police continued with an independent investigation.
On March 9, McGeehan declined to comment on a tip received by The Jersey Journal about an investigation into Novella, saying she couldn’t comment on a personnel matter.
As late as March 9, no notice had been issued to Novella by the school board about his employment potentially changing, according to an email from the board secretary.