Dad Forced Six-Year-Old Son To Run On Treadmill Because He Was ‘Too Fat’ Just Days Before Boy’s Death

Dad Christopher Gregor is shown forcing his 6-year-old son Corey Micciolo to run on a treadmill because he was 'too fat'.
Credit: Family Handout & Court TV

Christopher Gregor, a New Jersey father on trial for the murder of his son, is shown in disturbing footage forcing his 6-year-old son to run on a treadmill because he was ‘too fat’.

A harrowing story has left the internet feeling heartbroken this week.

Christopher Gregor, 31, is facing murder charges after the death of his son, Corey Micciolo.

Corey died in 2021 of ‘blunt force trauma’ after allegedly facing abuse at the hands of his father.

If convicted, Gregor faces life in prison.

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On April 2, 2021, Gregor, a former crisis hotline worker and nursing home carer, hurried the young boy to the hospital after he woke from a nap, exhibiting signs of stumbling, slurred speech, nausea, and difficulty breathing.

This led to doctors conducting a CT scan, during which Micciolo experienced a seizure.

Despite the medical team’s efforts to save him, they were unable to revive the young boy, and he tragically passed away.

The initial autopsy findings indicated that Corey’s death stemmed from blunt force injuries, alongside cardiac and liver contusions, accompanied by inflammation and sepsis.

In July 2021, Gregor faced arrest on charges of child neglect following investigators’ scrutiny of distressing surveillance footage recorded at the gym.

“Specifically by having (Corey) run on a treadmill and increasing the speed, causing (Corey) to fall, placing (him) back on the moving treadmill while appearing to bite his head, causing the said child to fall several more times,” an arrest warrant reads.

In September 2021, Corey’s death was reclassified as a homicide by forensic pathologist Dr Thomas Andrew.

The examination revealed that the six-year-old had endured ‘chronic abuse’, evident in blunt impact injuries on his chest and abdomen, a laceration on his heart, a left pulmonary contusion, as well as lacerations and contusions on his liver.

In court, a recording revealed that Gregor made a call to a state child abuse hotline on the morning of the child’s death, Asbury Park Press reported.

In the call, he alleged that the boy’s mother coached him to make false abuse allegations against his father.

During the phone call, Gregor informed Richard Cicerone, a state Division of Child Protection and Permanency employee, that Corey Micciolo’s mother, Breanna, had exceeded the court-ordered visitation hours by keeping the child longer than agreed.

Christopher Gregor
Christopher Gregor, a New Jersey father on trial for the murder of his son, is shown in disturbing footage forcing his 6-year-old son to run on a treadmill because he was ‘too fat’. Credit: Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office

He also claimed that she returned Corey that morning, claiming she had taken him to the hospital for an evaluation ordered by a state caseworker.

“My son came back this morning and he was saying that his mom said that he had to tell the doctor that I hit him,” Gregor said to Cicerone in the phone call.

“He came home, and one of the first two things he said was, ‘I don’t want to go with my mom anymore, she’s going to try to take me away from you,’ and he also said, ‘Mom told me to lie, and I had to.'”

After her son’s death, Breanna Micciolo created a private Facebook page called Justice for Corey to raise awareness for his case.

At the time she wrote: “I created this group to fight for justice for my son, Corey Micciolo. He was only 6 years old when his life was taken from him, by someone who was supposed to care and love for him. His father.

“We have an army here and we will not stop fighting until justice is served.”

In sickening images that Breanna posted to the Facebook group, her little boy is seen with various bruises, scratches and scrapes across his body, including on his forehead and down his arms.

“Corey had those CLEAR signs of abuse many many times all different incidents,” she captioned the post. “Is it the policy that is wrong or is it just them not following it?”

The exact timeline of when Gregor and Corey’s mother first crossed paths remains uncertain.

However, it’s reported that Gregor wasn’t involved in the boy’s life until he turned five years old, per the Daily Mail.

Corey Micciolo
After her son’s death, Breanna Micciolo created a private Facebook page called Justice for Corey to raise awareness for his case. Credit: GoFundMe

During their initial encounter, Corey purportedly returned home to his mother with a ‘busted lip,’ as Jersey Shore Online reports.

Breanna expressed doubt regarding Gregor’s explanation that the injury occurred accidentally while playing soccer, but she stated that a DCPP caseworker accepted this account without further investigation.

In the subsequent year, Breanna alleged that Corey endured recurring abuse at the hands of Gregor.

She reportedly suspected that Gregor was using the treadmill as a form of punishment during their visitations.

She claims that after she texted him about how he ‘hurt (Corey’s) feelings’, Gregor responded: “Maybe he needs to be a little tougher because that’s soft tissue.”

Other harrowing text messages were also shared in court.

“Corey came upstairs upset and almost crying because he was trying to ask you about playing football in high school and you smacked the ball out of his hand and walked out,” Micciolo texted Gregor.

“Well that’s a lie, I smacked the ball out of his hand and he didn’t say a word to me,” Gregor responded, adding that he ‘did it as a joke and said bye.’

He continued: “Tell him if you wanted to ask me a question standing there and saying nothing is not the way to ask.”

After he said he thought Corey was being ‘overemotional’, Micciolo responded: “He’s not emotional you hurt his feelings he got upset he’s six years old.”

Micciolo took the stand as the first witness in court.

Tearfully, she wiped her eyes while watching the unsettling video.

Christopher Gregor and Corey Micciolo
Tearfully, Corey’s mother Breanna wiped her eyes while watching the unsettling video. Credit: CourtTV/YouTube

And now, this disturbing footage from the trial has left the internet sickened.

One person writes: “Little buddy tried with all his might to please dad, he stood no chance. RIP.”

Another adds: “What kind of evil monster does this to his own baby boy!?”

Surveillance footage from the Atlantic Heights Clubhouse fitness centre was shown in court during the trial.

The CCTV footage allegedly captures Micciolo repeatedly tumbling off the treadmill, with Gregor consistently helping him back onto it.

In one instance, Gregor appears to bite his son on the back of the head before urging him to resume running.

The treadmill’s rapid pace exceeded the little boy’s leg speed, causing him to frequently fall off and struggle to climb back on.

Following their gym visit, Breanna Micciolo, Corey’s mother who shared custody with Gregor, allegedly noticed her son’s injuries and promptly informed a caseworker from the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency.

She brought Corey to a doctor, where he said his father forced him to run on the treadmill ‘because he was too fat,’ the U.S. Sun reports.

He died the next day.

Gregor was arrested on March 9, 2022, for his son’s death. He is being held in Ocean City Jail without bond.

In opening statements, Gregor’s attorney Mario Gallucci admitted the jury were ‘going to be horrified’ when they saw the footage, but argued it did not contribute to Corey’s death.

“You’re going to be mortified,” he warned. “(But) Corey’s death had absolutely nothing to do with that treadmill.”

Although Gregor is reportedly claiming his son died due to pneumonia, it is unclear if any medical staff found this to be the case in the hospital.

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Written by Annie Walton Doyle

Annie Walton Doyle is a content editor at IGV who specialises in trending, lifestyle and entertainment news. She graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a degree in English Literature. Annie has previously worked with organisations such as The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Harvard University, the Pulitzer Prize and 22 Words.