Cincinnati Police Investigating Family of Boy Who Fell Into Gorilla Enclosure
The Cincinnati Police Department is deciding if any charges need to be filed.
Cincinnati police have opened an investigation into the family of the boy who fell into the gorilla pit at the Cincinnati Zoo over the weekend, according to a tweeted press release from the department.
The statement made clear that the office is not looking into “the operation or safety of the Cincinnati Zoo,” and will only be “reviewing the facts and circumstances that led” to the incident.
A rep for the family tells PEOPLE that the family has not been charged at this time.
In a later tweet, the Cincinnati Police Department clarified that the boy was actually 3-years-old, despite various reports that he was four.
On Saturday, the toddler fell into the moat at the Gorilla World exhibit and was, according to bystanders, dragged around by the 450-pound gorilla Harambe. The incident lasted about 10 minutes before zoo officials decided to shoot and kill the endangered silverback.
The controversial event quickly put the parents of the boy in the center of a media storm, with many accusing the parents of negligence while others put the blame on the zoo for not having tight enough safety gates that would have prevented the boy from falling in.
“After the review, we will determine if charges need to be brought forward,” police spokeswoman Tiffaney Hardy told CNN. “If it is determined charges need to be brought forward, we would then discuss it with the Hamilton County prosecutor’s office.”
On Tuesday, a Cincinnati parent, whose child attends the daycare where Michelle Gregg works, defended Gregg – whose son is at the center of the incident – saying that what happened was an accident and that she feels confident leaving her children under Gregg’s supervision.
“I really feel bad for her and what happened,” the mother – named Airy – told PEOPLE. “All the negativity I see online – that’s not her. She’s not a neglectful woman. She’s caring. It’s not about her not paying attention or not caring. Things happen.”
Reporting by LE DATTA GRIMES