By Ken MacLeod

TAUNTON (CBS) – A mother is under arrest after she allegedly assaulted a police officer insider her Taunton apartment. Police were there to investigate accusations that her children were being abused and put in cages. The children are now in state custody.

The tipsters who called DCF on Sunday evening feared the kids living in the apartment on East Water Street were being sexually abused and kept in cages.

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“I can’t go down to the store, without worrying about somebody coming after me cause they think I’m a predator,” said Matthew Hope.

On Sunday, DCF workers showed up Matthew Hope’s door demanding entry. When Hope and his wife Melissa refused to let them in, Taunton Police were summoned and officers say the couple cursed them from their windows.

“They were right there on the steps and I said you cannot come into my house unless I see a warrant or something signed by the judge stating that you’re allowed to take my children,” Hope said.

Matthew Hope (WBZ-TV)

Those children are girls, ages 2 and 3 and a month old baby boy.

“I love my children with all my heart, they’re the reason I get up in the morning,” Hope said.

Officers kicked in the door but when one headed for the kids bedroom, he says 250 pound Melissa Hope grabbed him by the throat. Her husband’s version is somewhat different.

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“They ran in the house, attacked my wife,” Hope said.

There were no cages, only a small kennel for the family cats.

Melissa Hope (WBZ-TV)

“The sexual abuse I have no idea where they’re getting that from,” Hope said. “I think someone just threw that in to make a media circus.”

Still police describe the house as filthy and disgusting and DCF took “emergency” custody of the children.

“I just want them home, I just want them home,” Hope said.

His wife was arrested for assaulting a police officer, but Matthew Hope says all the allegations are false and he’s determined to sue over it.

“You can’t bring somebody through the mud like this without some kind of repercussion,” Hope said.

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The three young children remain in DCF custody, but so far, no charges of child abuse or neglect have been filed.

Ken MacLeod