STERLING, Ill. (AP) — An investigator for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has been hospitalized after being assaulted while trying to take protective custody of a child.

Authorities say 29-year-old Andrew Sucher allegedly struck the 59-year-old female investigator repeatedly in the head on Friday when she appeared at the 2-year-old child’s home near Sterling.

The Chicago Tribune reports the woman suffered brain injuries and is in a coma. She is hospitalized in Rockford, and has undergone two surgeries.

Sucher was arrested in Dixon and is being held in the Carroll County Jail on aggravated battery charges.

DCFS Director Beverly B.J. Walker says the attack underscores the dangers of the job. She notes it requires investigators to often visit homes where they are not welcome and deal with families racked by domestic violence, drug abuse and criminal activity.

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