By Charlotte Aguilar
The man charged with slapping an 11-year-old West University Elementary School pupil after school last Thursday is a former professional soccer player and longtime West University-Bellaire youth soccer coach, InstantNewsWestU has learned.
Nebojsa “Nebo” Bandovic, 50, has operated Nebo Pro Soccer Academy at the West University Recreation Center for a decade and coached youth soccer for a quarter-century. A background check of public records shows no prior criminal charges.
Bandovic told InstantNews he could not comment about the incident until after meeting with an attorney in preparation for a court appearance Wednesday.
He was arrested Monday and released on $5,000 bond after the family of an 11-year-old claimed Bandovic chased the boy and slapped him across the face after the 11-year-old was in an afterschool playground altercation with another child involving a cell phone. A Houston ISD police officer who viewed HISD surveillance video said it “does show the defendant slapping the complainant on the left side of the face with an open hand.”
Another parent came forward to the news media and said Bandovic also chased her son and another boy to the front of the closed school, hit her son on the back of the head and “punched” the third child.
Bandovic did confirm his son is a student at WUES and that he is 8 years old.
In a message to parents as part of the “Pony Express” e-newsletter distributed Monday, WUES Principal John Threet pointed out that the incident — which occurred a half-hour later than the required pickup time — might have been avoided had there not been lack of parental supervision of six children. “Had these kids been properly supervised, we would not have had a potentially dangerous situation occur,” he wrote. (Threet’s entire message may be viewed below.)
According to his biography, Bandovic is a native of Montenegro, a small, coastal Serbian country, and has played professional soccer in Europe and the U.S. He holds the record as alltime leading scorer for the Houston Hotshots soccer team.
Bandovic also owns NB Elite Realty, specializing in apartment developments and management and investments, with offices in major cities throughout Texas.
|There is a very important safety issue which requires your attention. We have a number of students who are being left after school on the front playground unsupervised. As stated in the Parent General Information Packet sent home on the first day of school, “All students should be picked up from school no later than 3:15 p.m.” We had an incident after school last Thursday afternoon around 3:45 p.m. involving six students whose parents had not picked them up after dismissal. This could have ended very badly all because there was no one to supervise the students.
With the large number of children who are with their parents or nannies it is impossible for us to determine which children are there without adult supervision. The incident last week moved to an area where there were no adults. Had these kids been properly supervised, we wouldn’t have had a potentially dangerous situation occur.
YOU MUST ARRANGE FOR ADULT SUPERVISION FOR YOUR CHILD AFTER SCHOOL. Whether it is a nanny or you, this must occur. No exceptions. I will have some unpleasant conversations with parents who choose to ignore this policy and are derelict in their duty.
Have a great week.
John T. Threet, Principal