A father from Barnegat, New Jersey, has been charged in connection with the death of his 6-year-old son after he allegedly forced him to run on a treadmill in order to lose weight, causing him to fall and sustain injuries that would eventually kill him.
As reported by the Asbury Park Press, Christopher Gregor, 29, was charged with murder following an expert witness review and additional investigation including surveillance footage from the Atlantic Heights Clubhouse fitness center recorded on March 20, 2021. Gregor was arrested Wednesday and is being held at the Ocean County Jail.
"After a year of fighting, Christopher Gregor was finally charged with my (son's) murder!" the boy's mother, Breanna Micciolo, wrote on Facebook on Wednesday. "He was arrested this morning."
Gregor Kept Increasing the Speed, Causing the Child to Fall Repeatedly
According to authorities, the video footage showed the boy, identified as Corey Micciolo, 6, running on a treadmill when his father approached and increased the speed. According to an affidavit of probable cause referenced by law enforcement, the father repeatedly put his son on the treadmill despite the boy repeatedly falling and failing to keep up with the increased rate of speed of the device.
The affidavit alleges the video shows that Gregor "appears to bite" his son on the head at one point while putting him back on the treadmill. He dies less than two weeks later on April 2, 2021.
The Ocean County Medical Examiner's Office later determined the boy died of blunt force trauma; the prosecutor's expert narrowed that down to trauma sustained to his chest and abdomen.
"The day he passed away, I dropped him off at his father's, perfectly healthy and happy and six hours later he is gone with no explanation," the boy's mother previously wrote on a private Facebook page, according to the Asbury Park Press.
Judge Denied Micciolo's Request for Emergency Custody
She had been in contact with the New Jersey Department of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) for close to a year, reporting the alleged abuse Corey suffered at the hands of his father.
Breanna informed DCPP in one email from July 2020 that her son had been coming home with bruises, scrapes, black eyes, and even a "bite mark" for almost a year. According to The Sun, the boy told a caseworker his father kept putting him back on the treadmill and forcing him to run "because he was too fat."
One day before the treadmill incident,the court rejected an emergency filing from Breanna, seeking custody of her son. The judge ultimately ruled against the mother, stating that her request failed to "demonstrate that the minor child is in danger of imminent or irreparable harm." The following day, Breanna said she had no choice but to drop off her son at his father's.