Five children allegedly living in deplorable conditions have been removed from their Oswego home. Sources notified CNY Central Monday morning and the father of four of the five children confirms to us that Child Protective Services removed the children from their apartment at 26 East 7th Street. We are concealing the parents' identities out of consideration for the children, who are all under the age of six.
The father tells CNY Central the kids were not taken out of the home due to the living conditions, but he refused to explain why they were removed.
"I'm going to do whatever it takes to keep my kids," the father told us by phone. He complained, however, that they have not found a place to move to after their eviction. "I'm not getting no money for a security deposit and DSS isn't helping," the father said.
However, late this morning, CNY Central's Jim Kenyon learned that the removal of the children is connected to an alleged incident of domestic violence, which happened on April 6th. Captain Charles Tonkin of the Oswego Police Department confirms police were called to the home to investigate a complaint of domestic violence and that the children were home at the time of the incident. Capt. Tonkin says the Department of Social Services and Child Protective Services were notified of the incident. He says police expect to make an arrest in the next few days.
We first told you about this story earlier this month when the landlord exposed the deplorable conditions. Tom Kells says the parents have been cited three times in the past year for garbage and other problems.
Kells feels the conditions are bad enough to report the couple to the Child Abuse Hotline in Albany. Reporter Jim Kenyon was allowed to enter the home and described seeing bags of garbage, a lot of clutter, a strong urine odor along with flies and other bugs. The kids slept on unkempt mattresses on the floor. The parents believe Kells is "exaggerating" the living conditions as he tries to evict them.
At the time of our original story, Codes Enforcement Director Neal Smith called the living conditions, "bad." "But I've seen worse," he told us by phone.
The couple's former landlord Leonard Gibeau tells CNY Central he has 140 pictures of the conditions and filth they lived in at the apartment he rented to them for two years. He says they caused $10,000 in damage, but DSS would only reimburse him for the security deposit. He thinks the public has a right to know what well-meaning landlords have to deal with when people choose to live that way.
When we first broke this story on CNY Central.com, we were inundated with comments. One person wrote, "There is no excuse to have garbage piled up in your home when you have small children living and crawling around there."
Another said, "Maybe the parents need help! Maybe they are so down and out that literally can't help themselves. Maybe they are human and love their children! Maybe a supportive person should help them get their act straight."
Do you support certain living standards or do you think people should live how they choose? Does your opinion change if there are children in the home? Leave your thoughts below.
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