Dwight Morrow Custodian Arrested for Installing Bathroom Camera


Francisco Javier Lopez-Martinez

Laura Lee, Alessandra Bontia, and Kosei Dohi

A custodian at Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood was arrested on February 1, 2019, after a camera he had allegedly installed in one of the girls’ restrooms was discovered. Police said he appeared to possess a handgun and hid in the school, instigating a campus-wide police search.

Francisco Javier Lopez-Martinez, a 59-year-old man from Bergenfield, was the head custodian at Dwight Morrow. Attempting to capture inappropriate photos of a female coworker, he installed a hidden camera in the bathroom, police said.

The female co-worker, who works the night shift, found the camera after school hours. She found videos of Lopez-Martinez installing the camera and of herself. She informed Lopez-Martinez that she found the device, and when he asked if she would return the camera to him, she denied his request and handed it in to the authorities. Authorities said that videos of her “private areas” were obtained on the camera but found no photos or videos of students or other staff.

The police obtained a warrant for his arrest. Lopez-Martinez had access to both the adjoined Englewood Public High School and Janis E. Dismus Middle School, so the authorities searched the schools in hopes of finding him. They encountered Lopez-Martinez’s family, who came to the high school, saying he had called them, apologizing for what he did and that he was threatening to hurt himself with the weapon he possessed. An all-night search ensued, with police combing the campus to find him. 

At 3:18 a.m., two of Lopez-Martinez’s family members spotted him on the campus and were able to hold him down until officers came to assist them. The gun in his possession turned out to be an airsoft gun that was made to look like a large caliber semi-automatic handgun. After his capture, he was sent to New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus, NJ, to receive a psychological evaluation, and he was then was detained at the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack.

Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood

The suspect’s first charge was third-degree invasion of privacy for installing a hidden camera. He was then charged with second-degree burglary, second-degree possession of a weapon for unlawful use, third-degree illegal possession of a handgun on school grounds, third-degree hindering his own apprehension, fourth-degree obstruction of justice, and fourth-degree resisting arrest by flight.

Following his arrest, all campuses that he worked on were inspected by police and school officials, and there has yet to be any evidence of additional hidden cameras found. Police reports say that evidence seems to point to the targeting of the one singular victim.

“I really find that to be disgusting and a complete invasion of privacy,” said Dené Chung (’19). “It’s things like this that make you more aware of your surroundings. It’s unfortunate that nowadays you can’t always feel safe in places you usually trust, like schools. It’s also really scary because Dwight Morrow is so close to us and many of our students are at their campus for things like taking standardized tests and sports games. This is something that really affects more than just the Englewood Public Schools, but puts an entire community on its toes.”

“I think this whole situation is really scary,” said Emma Kim (’20). “I’ve taken my ACT there before, and I know many other students at our school have as well. It’s terrifying to imagine that we could’ve been filmed and would never know. I think it really speaks to the issue of camera safety, especially with the recent installation of new cameras in our own school.”

Dwight Morrow could not be reached for any comments on the matter, but they leave families and students of the community to wonder where the safety of their children lies.

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