A father forced 6-year-old son to run on a treadmill. Days later, he left his child to die alone in a hospital

Footage shows Christopher Gregor allegedly forcing his six-year-old son to run on a treadmill at high speed

Andrea Cavallier
Wednesday 08 May 2024 17:44 BST
VIDEO: Child dies after torturous treadmill workout
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As doctors struggled to revive his six-year-old son whose heart had stopped after being forced to run high speeds on a treadmill, Christopher Gregor walked out of the emergency room leaving him to die with strangers, a New Jersey jury heard this week.

Mr Gregor, 31, is on trial for the murder of his son Corey Micciolo, who investigators say suffered traumatic injuries – including a final blow to the heart just hours before his death – believed to stem from chronic child abuse at the hands of his father.

Corey, six, died on 2 April 2021 at the Southern Ocean County Medical Center.

In court on Tuesday 7 May, jurors heard that the child woke up that morning with slurred speech, trouble breathing and nausea.

His father took him to the hospital around 4pm but, just an hour later, he was dead.

Lindsay Carnevale, a nurse who was part of the medical team fighting to save the little boy’s life, testified in court on Tuesday that Mr Gregor was emotionless when he brought Corey in to the medical room.

He then left the boy for a period before briefly returning and then walking out again for a final time moments later, she said.

Abandoning his son in the emergency room, the nurse testified that he died minutes later surrounded only by medical staff.

Footage allegedly shows Christopher Gregor forcing his six-year-old son Corey Micciolo to run on a treadmill
Footage allegedly shows Christopher Gregor forcing his six-year-old son Corey Micciolo to run on a treadmill (credit Court TV)

“We were the only ones with him,” she testified.

Video footage captured Mr Gregor driving away from the hospital less than 20 minutes after the boy was pronounced dead.

A week before Corey’s death, his father had allegedly forced the boy to run at high speed on a treadmill because he thought he was “too fat,” according to disturbing video footage previously played at trial.

At one point in the video, the speed was turned up until the boy was thrown from the machine to the ground.

Mr Gregor was arrested on 9 March 2022. He faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted of murder.

Here’s what we know so far about the case:

Video of six-year-old forced to run on treadmill

During the trial which began on Tuesday at Superior Court in Ocean City, the court was shown surveillance from Atlantic Heights fitness centre, located in Barnegat, where Mr Gregor appears to be forcing little Corey onto a treadmill.

Corey’s mother, Bre Micciolo, who was the first witness on the stand, burst into tears as she watched her son allegedly being abused by his father in the footage.

The footage, filmed on 20 March 2021, shows the little boy forced to run increasingly fast on the exercise equipment as his dad sharply steepens the incline.

Unable to keep up with the conveyor belt beneath, Corey’s legs buckles and he falls to the floor.

Mr Gregor is then seen picking up his son, who is struggling to stay upright, and forcing him back onto the machine. The father then appears to “bite” his son – which was also noted on the arrest warrant – on the top of his head before finally decreasing the machine’s speed and incline.

Christopher Gregor seen in court during his murder trial
Christopher Gregor seen in court during his murder trial (Court TV)

Days later, Ms Micciolo, who shared custody of her son with Mr Gregor, allegedly reported the boy’s injuries to the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency, she told the court.

He was taken to the hospital on 1 April 2021 – one day before his death.

During that hospital visit, the six-year-old made a key claim about why he was forced to run: his father told him “he was too fat”.

How did Corey Micciolo die?

The following day, Mr Gregor brought the six-year-old back to hospital due to his concerning symptoms.

While in hospital, the little boy suffered a seizure during a CT scan. Medical staff desperately tried in vain to save his life.

An initial autopsy found that Corey’s death was the result of sustaining blunt force injuries with cardiac and liver contusions, acute inflammation and sepsis.

Forensic pathologist Dr Thomas Andrew ruled the boy’s death to be a homicide in September 2021 stemming from chronic abuse.

Dr Andrew believes Corey suffered an acute traumatic injury to the heart four to 12 hours before his death.

Father on trial

Mr Gregor was arrested on 9 March 2022 on child neglect charges following an investigation into the gym footage.

He is being held in the Ocean County Jail.

If convicted of murder, he faces between 30 years to life without the possibility of parole in prison.

He could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of child endangerment.

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