An Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) worker passed away on Thursday, stemming from a brutal beating she received last year, reportedly from a man who felt the social worker was “harassing” him when she made a home visit to take his son into protective custody.
The Chicago Tribune reports that 25-year-old Andrew Sucher is behind bars after he allegedly attacked 59-year-old child welfare worker, Pamela Knight, when she made a visit to Sucher’s parents’ home in Milledgeville home in September.
According to court documents, Sucher was convicted last year of felony aggravated battery of a child, after he beat a 6-year-old little boy, then dragged him by his foot while squirting water in his face with a toy gun. Around the same time, Sucher’s ex-girlfriend took out a restraining order on him, and the state placed their 2-year-old son in the temporary care of the suspect’s parents.
An earlier report indicated that White first went to Sucher’s house in Whiteside County with a police escort, but when no one answered the door, she decided to go to the grandparents’ home, this time alone. It was a decision that proved to be fatal after the 6-foot-4, 270-pound suspect reportedly attacked her.
“He feels like he’s being harassed by them, and so he attacked her,” Angela Sucher, the suspect’s mother, said during a 911 call shortly after the attack.
On September 29, when Knight went to the grandparents’ home, Sucher greeteed her by knocking her to the ground and kicking her in the head, causing permanent brain damage. Knight held on for numerous months in the hospital before succumbing to her injuries, just days after an emergency surgery procedure.
“We are forever grateful for her work to help children and families in Illinois,” DCFS director, Beverly “B.J.” Walker, said in a statement “The work many at DCFS do is not easy. Frontline staff are first responders to children and families in crisis and Pamela’s work has always set an example for all of us who work to protect children.”
Walker later told the Tribune that Knight is just one of the dozen or so child social workers who’ve been physically attacked or threatened with harm since 2013.
Sucher, who was arrested shortly after the attack, pleaded not guilty and remains behind bars without bail. According to Sauk Valley, the suspect became upset in December while being transferred to a different cell, and allegedly punched a police chief in the face. A judge ordered him to undergo a mental competency evaluation. His next scheduled court appearance is February 23.
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Pamela Knight/Handout, Andrew Sucher/Carroll County Sheriff’s Dept.]