North Bergen mother arrested in alleged child abuse case

Five-year-old son allegedly at risk

On August 14 at approximately 12:45 p.m., detectives with the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit arrested Heather Cruz, 28, of North Bergen, on charges of allegedly endangering her five-year-old son.

She was arrested in the area of 29th Street in North Bergen without incident. Cruz has been charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child, a second-degree crime.

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Detectives previously arrested Ivan Sanchez, 30, of Hoboken on charges that he allegedly abused the five-year-old boy while in his care.

Sanchez has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and sexual assault by contact, both crimes of the second degree.

Second defendant

On Aug. 10  members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit were notified by the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency about a possible child abuse case of a five-year-old boy in Hoboken.

According to the HCPO, Sanchez allegedly physically abused the boy in multiple locations on his body causing severe bruising and injury, including on his face, ear, buttocks, lower back, upper back, and genitals.

Sanchez, who works as a janitor at the Hoboken Housing Authority, was arrested on Aug.11 at 2:40 p.m. at the agency’s Harrison Street office.

Executive Director of the Hoboken Housing Authority Marc Recko said he could not comment on personnel matters when asked how long Sanchez worked at the HHA, among other questions, but did say that all HHA employees undergo a thorough background check before they are hired, and “if they were to have any record of that in their past, we would definitely not hire them.”

He said the HHA fully cooperated with the police during Sanchez’s arrest on their premises.

Prosecutor Suarez credited the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and the Hoboken Police Department for the investigation and arrest.

The above charges are merely accusations.The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

For updates on this and other stories, check and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at

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