Saturday, December 24, 2011

"Stay-at-home" dad "boils over" with 7-year-old son (Cape Coral, Florida)

Dad is identified as THOMAS SCHEURELL.
Cape man accused of child abuse

Updated: Dec 20, 2011 10:06 PM CST
By Kim Brown

CAPE CORAL - A Cape Coral family was ripped apart after an apparent case of child abuse. Police say Thomas Scheurell used his hands to hit his seven-year-old boy as a form of discipline for breaking a water pipe.

The boy's mother, Christine Penwell, says they all just moved to Cape Coral a few weeks ago from up north and that it's been difficult adjusting.

The boy's father, Penwell's boyfriend, recently became a stay at home dad and she says the pressure boiled over."I know in my heart he didn't mean to hurt his child. I know that," Penwell said.

Fighting back tears Tuesday evening, Penwell said Scheurell shouldn't have hit their son.

Scheurell is now behind bars facing abuse charges and their son has welts and a bruise on his back.

"I told the cops I'm shocked that he even whipped him," Penwell said.

Cape police say it all started after the child got on top of a water heater. It subsequently broke and water flooded the apartment.

Then, police say the child fell to the ground and hit his nose and it started to bleed. His dad then got very angry and started to hit him.

In the report, Scheurell states he was not sorry for hitting his son and that he is always misbehaving.

Penwell says Scheurell is new at being a stay at home dad since they just moved to Florida. And she said she thinks he went to far while disciplining the boy for breaking the water heater.

"I think it was just a mixture of everything. The pressure that is building up on top of us," Penwell said.

Penwell says she has the means to get Scheurell out of jail, but added that a judge said she and her son are to have no contact with him.

She says she's trying to find a way through the courts to figure out options for him and that her son wants to see his dad at Christmas.