By Jim Hagerty
MOUNT CARROLL — Charges against the man who allegedly beat a DCFS worker have been upgraded.
Records show that Andrew Sucher, 29, of Rock Falls, is now charged with attempted first-degree murder, a Class X felony punishable by 20 to 80 years in prison. Police say Sucher kicked 59-year-old Pamela Knight repeatedly in the head when she was attempting to remove a 2-year-old child from his parents’ Milledgeville home in October.
Knight suffered brain injuries and was in a coma at a Rockford hospital, where she underwent two surgeries. She is now recovering at a rehabilitation facility in Chicago. Her husband, Don Knight, spoke at one of Sucher’s early court hearings, telling the judge Pamela “will require medical assistance and equipment” for the rest of her life.
Sucher has also been charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm and aggravated battery of a state employee.
The Illinois Department of Child and Family Services became involved with Sucher in July after he was charged in Whiteside County with felony aggravated battery of a child. Court records show he was accused of dragging a 6-year-old boy by the feet and hitting him in the face a toy gun. He also was charged in that incident with domestic violence.
Sucher was free on a $15,000 bond when he was arrested for the attack on Knight.
Whiteside County Public Defender Colleen M. Buckwalter filed a motion in Carroll County Monday seeking a psychological evaluation to determine whether Sucher “appreciated the criminality of his conduct” when he allegedly beat Knight, and whether he understands the ramifications of the charges against him.
The case in Whiteside County will be on hold until the Carroll County case is complete.
Department Director Beverly B.J. Walker said the attack underscores the dangers of the job. She noted that investigators often visit homes where they are not welcome and deal with families racked by domestic violence, drug abuse and criminal activity.
“There’s a lot more work out there and lot more work that’s harder than it used to be,” Walker said in an earlier report. “They are showing up in the middle of family crises, (and) by the time we get there, it’s been happening a long time.” R.
— with Associated Press reports