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St. Paul man charged for alleged abuse of Hudson toddler

A St. Paul man is being held on $25,000 bail in St. Croix County Jail after being charged Thursday with inflicting life-threatening injuries on the three-year-old son of his girlfriend.

Jonathon D. Wierstad, 24, who was living at 917 St. Croix St. at the time of the incident, was arrested by Hudson police and has been charged with felony physical child abuse– recklessly causing great bodily harm.

According to information from the police report and the criminal complaint, Wierstad called 911 on Tuesday, April 8, just before 10 a.m. to report the boy was not breathing. Wierstad first told police that when he found the boy in the bathroom that he was still breathing but when he picked him up from the floor the child went limp.

When police arrived at the address, EMS personnel allegedly said that the circumstances of the child’s injuries seemed suspicious. Wierstad agreed to be interviewed by an investigator at the Hudson Police Department. He was returned to his residence following his statement.

Police then proceeded to the Hudson Hospital and spoke with the physician attending the boy. While some food was found in the boy’s airway, the child had severe head trauma that was inconsistent with choking or a normal fall from tripping.

The child was transferred to Children’s Hospital St. Paul where doctors said the bleeding in the front and back of the boy’s brain was consistent with child abuse. 

According to a report in the Eau Claire Leader Telegram, when interviewed again, Wierstad changed his version of events. He said that he was tossing the boy overhead when he accidentally dropped the child and the boy landed on his head.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Wierstad's preliminary hearing is set for Thursday, April 17.

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

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