Two Lawrence women, ages 56 and 38, were arrested Tuesday by Methuen Police and charged in connection with the physical abuse of a 10-year-old child on a bus contracted with Methuen Public Schools.
Nancy Vasquez, a bus monitor, was charged with assault and battery on a disabled person, while Marlene Cruz, a bus driver, was charged with permitting abuse of a disabled person, according to a statement Thursday from Methuen Police Chief Scott J. McNamara. They were arraigned Tuesday in Lawrence District Court.
“It was the school department’s prompt and thorough response to a parent’s concerns that prompted this investigation,” McNamara said.
The statement noted Methuen Public Schools contacted the Methuen Police Department last Friday about a School Department investigation that found that a bus monitor had physical contact with the child and the bus driver failed to intervene or report the matter. The incident was brought to the attention of the schools by parents.
Methuen contracts with the bus company to provide transportation for students who attend school outside the district.
Vasquez was ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing which is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 6. Cruz was released on personal recognizance, with conditions that she not contact the victim or their family, the victim’s school, Vasquez or the bus company. She is also prohibited from working with children. She is due back in court on Nov. 3 for a pre-trial conference.