Little Ferry NJ Priest Accused of Pointing Gun at Child, Charged with Aggravated Assault
A Little Ferry NJ priest accused of aiming a gun at an eight-year-old boy recently pleaded not guilty in a Hackensack courtroom.
According to authorities, the 55-year-old suspect pointed the firearm at the young child when the child was inside a rectory room. The firearm in question was reportedly a replica Civil War era musket.
The incident occurred on September 13. The suspect, who works as a reverend at St. Margaret of Cortona Church, reportedly asked the victim to enter a rectory room at the church.
At some point while the two were talking, the suspect allegedly aimed the gun at the boy.
A parishioner at the church learned of the incident and reported it to the Archdiocese of Newark. The church then alerted the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.
Police later seized the gun, as well as ammunition and gunpowder. According to Bergen County prosecutors, the weapon is functioning.
Meanwhile, the suspect was placed under arrest. He has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated assault.
The suspect recently appeared in Bergen County Central Municipal Court and entered a not guilty plea. The case is now set to be referred to the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, which will make a determination about whether to pursue a grand jury indictment.
The suspect’s defense attorney has said that the entire incident was a misunderstanding and that the suspect was merely joking. According to defense counsel, the suspect held the gun as part of “good-natured fun” stemming from a football-related rivalry. At no point, said the attorney, did the suspect point the gun at the child.
The suspect is currently free on bail while awaiting action from the prosecutor’s office.
To learn more about this case, go to the NJ.com article entitled “Priest Accused of Pointing Gun at Boy Appears in Court, Report Says.”