Authorities arrested an Oklahoma City couple after they allegedly neglected their children to the point they were begging neighbors for food.
Oklahoma News 4 reports that police found five children reportedly living alone in squalor at an apartment off of 100 block of W. I-240 Service Rd. Concerned residents contacted authorities when they saw the children running around unsupervised on numerous occasions.
According to police, when they arrived at the apartment, they found five children inside, ranging from ages 1 to 11. The front door looked as if it had been kicked in, and the lock was broken. Officers noticed two toddler wandering around the apartment wearing dirty diapers.
The police report stated the apartment was “filthy,” with dirty dishes piled up, soiled diapers, spilled food, and spilled trash cans. Neighbors told authorities that the children had no food in the house aside from bread, so they brought over bologna, hot dogs, and a few other snacks. Neighbors also claimed the children came to their home several times, asking for something to drink and eat.
Authorities called the Department of Human Services (DHS) to check on the children. The father, Michael Pickering, 35, arrived and was confronted by DHS and authorities. Pickering claimed a family member had agreed to watch the children. Since they the children were unattended however, police arrested the father and charged him with child neglect.
After questioning Pickering, police located the children’s mother, Shashana Wapskineh, 30, who said it was “not her responsibility” to watch her children. Police noted that that Wapskineh appeared to be under the influence of narcotics. Officers arrested her and charged with child neglect.
Pickering, who’s on dialysis, was taken to a hospital when the jail refused him. He told authorities his illness made it difficult for him to properly care for his kids.
According to Fox 25, DHS placed the children in a home with relatives.
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Police Handout]