A Coon Rapids man has been accused in Anoka County District Court of assaulting a three-year-old boy on multiple occasions.
Kai Joseph Stellmach, 21, was arraigned in court Aug. 27 on a felony third-degree assault charge. Bail was set at $50,000.
According to the complaint, Stellmach brought the boy, the son of his girlfriend, to the Mercy Hospital Emergency Room Aug. 21 to have a left-arm burn looked at after the boy had fallen at the park the previous day, telling medical staff that the boy’s grandmother had cleaned it with scalding hot water, causing the burn to blister, pop and become swollen, at which point the boy developed a fever.
But hospital staff saw that the boy had bruising all over his body in various stages of healing which Stellmach alleged had been caused by the boy’s older brother whipping him with a towel.
But when the boy was transferred to Midwest Children’s Resource Center, Stellmach allegedly told medical staff that it was he who had cleaned the boy’s arm in the kitchen sink and he did not know the water was so hot.
According to a statement by the boy’s mother, 30, Stellmach had told her the boy had fallen at a nearby park and he had splashed hot water on the wound, burning him.
She told investigators from Anoka County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division (CID) that she had been dating Stellmach the past three months and he lived with her at her Eidelweiss Street home, watching her children while she was at work.
In a voluntary statement, Stellmach alleged that he had used a glass to pour hot water over the wound to clean.
He also first alleged that the multiple bruises happened accidentally while the boy was playing, but then allegedly admitted that he grabbed the boy with extreme force on multiple occasions and bruised the boy by whipping him in anger with a wet towel, as well as squeezing and hurting the boy on multiple occasions over the past several weeks.
According to medical staff, many of the bruises were atypical for accidental injury and a number of bruises raised great concern for inflicted trauma.
A full skeletal evaluation of the boy Aug. 23 revealed greenstick fractures of wrist bones, which would have occurred within the previous seven days.
In a post-Miranda statement, Stellmach allegedly repeated his admissions of his earlier statement, including whipping the boy with a wet towel five or six times, causing the bruising on his body and pulling on his wrist Aug. 20 resulting in the broken bones.
Peter Bodley is at [email protected]