Hagerstown police say a 9-year-old boy is in critical condition after he was handcuffed and beaten for eating a piece of birthday cake without permission.

The boyfriend of the mother, 30-year-old Robert Wilson, was being held on $1 million bail after a hearing Thursday. He's charged with offenses including first-degree assault and child abuse.

The Herald-Mail reports that a public defender represented Wilson at the hearing. The attorney didn't immediately return a telephone call from The Associated Press. Wilson's arrest was first reported by Washington television station WJLA.

The boy is at Children's Memorial Hospital in Washington.

The mother's brother told police that the boy was handcuffed Tuesday as punishment for stealing the cake and was hit after the handcuffs were removed. The alleged incident occurred at home.