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Milwaukee father fatally punches five-year-old son because he ate his Father's Day cheesecake, gets arrested

Travis Stackhouse, 29, has been charged with first-degree reckless homicide in the death of his son who suffered a ruptured stomach, bruised kidneys, and a torn adrenal gland

A Milwaukee father reportedly punched and killed his five-year-old son because the young boy ate a piece of his cheesecake.

Paramedics were called to the home of Travis Stackhouse, 29, in the 2600 block of West Ruby Avenue at around 2 am on Saturday, June 29, on reports of a sick/injured child, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The boy was pronounced dead a short time later after CPR could not revive him.

When questioned, Stackhouse, the child's father, initially claimed that the five-year-old had injured himself because he had fallen down the stairs.

He said his girlfriend had returned from work at around 3 pm and left, following which the victim and another one of his children were playing nerf basketball upstairs.

He said the boy suddenly came "somersaulting down the stairwell" and that, while he did not seem to suffer any injuries, a little while later, he started feeling unwell and was vomiting. 

However, paramedics said his injuries were not consistent with a fall, and Stackhouse's story completely unraveled after the victim's six-year-old brother told police that the 29-year-old's claim was false. 

The victim had bruising around his eyes, a cut to the lower lip, and a laceration to the sternum, and the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office also determined that the boy had suffered a ruptured stomach, bruised kidneys, and a torn adrenal gland. His cause of death was ruled to be blunt force trauma to the abdomen.

On further questioning, Stackhouse confessed to punching his son in the stomach on Friday, June 28, because he was upset three of his children were eating the cheesecake he had gotten for Father's Day.

Prosecutors stated that, after the assault, the 29-year-old left the house and went to a bar with his friends. It was when he returned home at around 2 am that his girlfriend called 911 for help. But it would be too late. 

Stackhouse told police that he had gotten angry at the boy because he had eaten only one piece before the children finished the cake. He also admitted to hitting the five-year-old's face with the back of his hand and holding a metal rod in his hand to make his punches more painful.

In a criminal complaint, the police said Stackhouse did not know the birth dates of any of the five children he shared with his girlfriend and that he could not even spell their names.

He also said his girlfriend had warned him to not hit their children so hard, according to the complaint. 

Stackhouse has been charged with first-degree reckless homicide in the death of his son and is being held at the Milwaukee County Jail on a $25,000 bond. He is scheduled to make his next appearance in court on July 5 for a preliminary hearing.

If convicted of his charges, the 29-year-old faces up to 60 years in prison.