By Stephen Mayer, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
HARRISONVILLE, MO (KCTV) -
Seven children are in protective custody and their parents accused of neglect, but their father says the whole thing is a big misunderstanding.
Brian and Tammie Gregerson face a felony charge in the case, but Brian said he's always done his best to provide for his family.
Harrisonville, MO, police descended on the Cortez Motel near North Commercial and Locust streets Monday morning to investigate a report of child neglect. They said they found seven children ranging in age from three to 12, all alone and living in horrible conditions.
When their parents, Brian and Tammie Gregerson, showed up a short time later, they were arrested.
According to charging documents released Wednesday, the Gregerson's repeatedly left the children unsupervised in the motel room for hours on end.
Responding officers said the small room that was home to nine people was completely filthy, that cat urine was all over the carpet, bed sheets were torn and also soaked in urine. Trash littered the floor, and the children looked like they hadn't bathed recently.
"I say that's a crock of crap," Brian Gregerson said.
He said police have it all wrong. He said his family was staying at the motel for a few days as they moved from Harrisonville to a home in Kansas City. He gave KCTV5's Stephen Mayer a tour to prove he's lined up a suitable home for his family.
Brian Gregerson said he and his wife always made sure someone was watching their kids as they made trips to move their belongings. He said he isn't sure why their babysitter never showed up the day police arrived.
Now, he said, he doesn't know when or if he'll see his children again.
"It's very hard because I didn't even get to say goodbye to my kids. My daughter sat there looking through the window, looking at me in the car and they wouldn't even let me say goodbye to them. Yesterday was her birthday," he said.
The Gregerson's first court date was set for Thursday morning. Brian Gregerson is hoping to convince the judge he's a fit parent so he can get his seven children back.
Brian Gregerson did tell KCTV5 the Missouri Department of Social Services had been called on him several times, but he blames a landlord he said had it out for him.
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