TRENTON NJ Aug 6 2017 A Trenton Public Schools security guard has been arrested and charged with child endangerment on allegations she assaulted a 9-year-old boy at Jefferson Elementary.
Tyshanae “Ty” McNeese, 22, of Trenton, was processed at city police headquarters Thursday afternoon and released on a summons about two hours later, police said.
McNeese on June 23 approached the third-grade student in the cafeteria of Jefferson Elementary School, grabbed him by the neck and punched him in the chest, according to a police incident report obtained by The Trentonian. The attack left scratches on the student’s neck as well as fingerprint marks, the report said.
The incident supposedly all started when the student called the security guard “SpongeBob,” a reference to the lovable cartoon character.
The charges against McNeese come six weeks after the incident. The victim’s mother, Lakera Dexter, filed a police report on July 5 and contacted the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P), formerly the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS), on June 30, because she perceived that the school and Trenton Board of Education were not properly addressing the incident.
Dexter on Friday expressed relief that a Trenton Police and Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office joint investigation has resulted in McNeese being arrested on child endangerment charges.
Dexter said her son has “a loving parent fighting and advocating for him. It wasn’t taken seriously till now. I’ve been through a lot to get someone to hear the things my child has endured. I’ve been kicked out of the principal office and all, but one thing for certain, I wasn’t gonna give up.”
“I love all kids,” Dexter added, “and if I see someone victimize a child, I’m not just gonna turn my head and act as if it didn’t happen.”
Police have described McNeese as a school security guard. A May 23 Facebook photo depicted McNeese wearing a Motivated Security uniform. Somerville-based Motivated Security Services contracts with the district to provide security services in the Trenton Public Schools. A company official previously declined to comment on McNeese’s alleged child endangerment.
Trenton Police Officer Laurel Rogers arrested McNeese on Thursday and charged her with cruelty and neglect of children, a fourth-degree crime under Title 9 of New Jersey state law, according to court records.
The Trentonian last month published an article detailing McNeese’s alleged attack on the child. After the article was first published online, McNeese took to social media and commented that the opposite had happened.
“This is the same little boy who punched me several times,” she wrote. “It’s the little boy’s mom she told the cops all of this.”
McNeese, who turns 23 on Sunday, also called the story a “big ass messy ass lie.”
“Don’t believe everything your read,” she commented on the story. “That’s all I will say for now.”
Jefferson Elementary is located at 1 Whittlesey Road in the city’s West Ward. The newspaper earlier in the year wrote about another unrelated Trenton Public Schools incident in which a teacher’s aide in May kicked an 8-year-old boy in the cafeteria at Gregory Elementary School.
Similar to Dexter’s situation, the mother of the Gregory Elementary student said Trenton school officials had never contacted the proper authorities and said she had to press charges on her own. Asia Harris, who was ultimately charged in connection with that assault, bragged on social media about beating up the 8-year-old boy.
The Trentonian has reached out to Trenton school officials for comment on this story. They did not immediately respond to requests for comment.