Thursday, June 5, 2008

Police: Children removed from filthy home

Posted: May 12, 2008 09:49 AM MST
Updated: May 12, 2008 01:38 PM MST
Steve Jefferson/Eyewitness News
Marion County - An Indianapolis mother spent Mother's Day weekend defending herself to police. Social workers removed her children after police say one of them wandered the streets.
Tasha Woodson, 33, is angry about social workers from Child Protective Services taking her children. It happened Mother's Day weekend as she returned home from the grocery store.
"I was at the grocery store. They lied talking about I didn't have no food. You want to come in my house and check my house," she said angrily. "Going around taking people kids for nothing and that's what I mean."
Woodson and her husband showed us inside their home which appears neat and in order.
"It ain't the Ritz or the Hilton," she said.
The Woodsons also showed us their refrigerator. There is bread, milk, hamburger patties and other staples like luncheon meats. In fact, nothing else would even fit in the freezer.
But the weekend brush with the law started after someone on East 10th Street spotted their son walking alone and crying.
Woodson's six-year-old son told officers he was lost. Woodson says he left his aunt's house with cousins.
"He spent the night over there, so basically he was in her care," Woodson said.
Woodson's son navigated six blocks to show police his home on Eastern Avenue.
This is how officers described the house in their police report:
"The toilet wasn't working. There was dog feces throughout the upstairs. Very little food if any. Just conditions you wouldn't want to have four children in," said Lt. Jeff Duhammel, IMPD.
The same officers found a one-, four- and five-year-old alone. Police say the babysitter showed up about 30 minutes later.
"When you found the person who admitted she was watching the kids, why didn't you lock her up for child neglect or abandonment?" said Woodson.
In 2005, Child Protective Services investigated Woodson for improper supervision. She argues this time she's done nothing wrong.
Tasha Woodson has eight of her nine children living with her. She has a CPS court hearing Tuesday about getting the four children back.