By Shereen Siewert
Felony charges have been refiled against a Schofield man whose girlfriend’s son suffered a severe brain injury and nearly died while in his care.
Aaron Radtke, 22, faces charges in Marathon County Circuit Court of first degree recklessly endangering safety and child abuse/recklessly causing great harm. Radtke was initially charged in November 2018 with the same alleged crimes. That case was dismissed July 14 and refiled on the same day.
Police launched an investigation in December 2017 when rescue crews were summoned to a Schofield home for a report of a 1-year-old boy who had fallen and was injured. When medical help arrived, the boy was breathing but was not responsive, police said.
Radtke allegedly told police he had been babysitting for his girlfriend’s daughter when his dog, a miniature pinscher, ran past the boy and knocked him to the floor.
The boy was taken to a local hospital. But due to the severity of his injuries, the boy was later transferred to Marshfield Medical Center after being diagnosed with bleeding on the brain in three areas along with other serious injuries, according to court filings.
A subsequent investigation by a doctor at the child advocacy center noted the boy had lost weight and suffered bilateral subdural hemorrhages and bruising of the face and neck and had lost weight, all of which raised “significant concern” for abuse, according to the criminal complaint.
The head injuries, according to the medical report, were not consistent with a short fall but were instead compared to the type of injury that might be sustained in a high impact motor vehicle crash.
During the months-long investigation Radtke allegedly gave several versions of events, eventually telling police the boy fell down the steps while Radtke was in the basement of the home. Radtke also allegedly said he became angry because the boy was “fussy” and shook the boy until he went limp and stopped crying, according to the police report.
Radtke, who is free on bond, faces up to 27 1/2 years in the Wisconsin Prison System and up to $75,000 in fines if he is convicted on both charges. A preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 19.