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NJ janitor allegedly contaminated food, committed lewd acts at elementary school: prosecutor

Cumberland County school janitor arrested for allegedly contaminated food, committed lewd acts
Cumberland County school janitor arrested for allegedly contaminated food, committed lewd acts 02:31

UPPER DEERFIELD, N.J. (CBS) -- A Cumberland County man was arrested for allegedly contaminating food and committing lewd acts at Elizabeth Moore School in Upper Deerfield Township, the county prosecutor's office announced Friday.

Giovanni Impellizzeri, 25, was arrested by New Jersey State Police on Halloween, the Cumberland County prosecutor said.

Impellizzeri is accused of tampering with cafeteria food in the Upper Deerfield Township school with bleach and bodily fluids. He also allegedly performed "sexual acts with inanimate objects" at the school and posted videos of them on social media, according to a news release.

All morning, New Jersey State Police were posted outside the school as parents like Shatora Sheikh came demanding answers following the arrest of Impellizzerri.

"I wanted to throw up," Sheikh said."I was sick to my stomach literally not knowing if my kids, my daughter, particularly that goes to that school, had eaten anything, touched anything."

She's particularly upset because she says the school district didn't provide details on the allegations.

Sheikh showed CBS News Philadelphia an email Upper Deerfield Schools sent to parents Wednesday afternoon which only said there were "alleged inappropriate online postings made by an employee of our district."

She didn't learn the specific accusations until a friend shared them with her Thursday night.

"I believe us as parents would've been like happier if they would've told us the situation, 'This is what happened. We're doing A through Z,' but nobody told us anything," Sheikh said.

The Cumberland County prosecutor said Impellizzeri was hired in September 2019 by the Upper Deerfield Township School District. He allegedly committed these actions while working as a custodian at the school.

Investigators are looking into exactly when the alleged acts by Impellizzeri happened.

Impellizzeri is facing multiple charges, including aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

The school district is cooperating with the investigation, according to the Cumberland County prosecutor.

Parent Natalie Schmidt said she's worried about her child's health.

"I had no idea it was going to be to this extent. None," she said. "I am like freaking out right now. I have to take my kid and get him a whole workup done medically because I don't know what he has ingested."

CBS News Philadelphia reached out to the Upper Deerfield Township School District. The superintendent's secretary said a statement would be released Friday. We are still awaiting comment.

The Cumberland County Health Department said it's working with the school to ensure food prep areas, serving utensils and all surfaces have been properly sanitized and any tampered products have been discarded.

It says they're also awaiting test results from Impellizzeri to determine if he has any infectious diseases.

The health department said it's been inundated with calls from parents. It hopes to have additional guidance out to parents by Monday.

CBS News Philadelphia asked the public defender's office, which is currently representing Impellizzerri, for a comment on the case. We'll let you know once we hear from them.

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