A Jersey City woman once accused of having her two children and mother live in deplorable conditions was charged in a dispute at Target last week where allegedly sneezed on a woman on purpose after a verbal confrontation, authorities said.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Bernadette Bisogno, 49, of Jersey City, was charged on April 3rd by Jersey City police with harassment (petty disorderly persons offenses), simple assault (disorderly persons offense), and violation of the emergency orders (disorderly persons offense), the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office said.
Detectives were assigned to investigate a possible COVID-related incident that occurred on April 2nd at the Target stores located at 100 14th St.
Bisogno became involved in a verbal altercation at the store with another woman, with whom she had disputes in the past. It is alleged that, during the incident at the store, Bisogno purposely sneezed on the victim, leaving saliva on her clothing and skin.
“Make no mistake, we will do everything in our power to keep our residents and officers safe, and that means we won’t hesitate to file charges against violators,” Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a statement.
In September of last year, Bisogno was accused of keeping her two sons, mother, and nine dogs, in a home covered in dog feces – which eventually led to an infestation of fleas and flies, ABC 7 reported.
Sources with knowledge of the situation, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said that the woman Bisogno spit on had called the office of the New Jersey Child Protection and Permanency last year and had prompted an investigation into her living conditions.
A grand jury has since indicted her on second-degree charges of endangering the welfare of a child (two counts) and neglecting the elderly (one count). That case is still pending, sources said.
Violations of the emergency orders constitute a disorderly persons offense carrying a potential sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
“Law enforcement and medical professionals are on the frontlines of this battle to protect the citizens of New Jersey from the COVID-19 virus, and we cannot stress enough how important it is that each person follow the guidelines set forth in the Executive Order,” added Colonel Patrick Callahan, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information.