Campton Twp. man charged with felony domestic battery in alleged strangulation assault

Victim: ‘I was one second away from dying’

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – A Campton Township man was charged with two counts of felony aggravated domestic battery including strangulation in which the victim told deputies, “I was one second away from dying,” according to Kane County Sheriff’s reports.

Michael J. Ritchie, 63, of the 42W200 block of Empire Road, Campton Township, was also charged April 25 with two counts of misdemeanor domestic battery, court and sheriff’s records show.

Deputies were called to the address about 8 p.m. by a neighbor who reported the victim being beaten by Ritchie, according to sheriff’s reports.

Deputies found the victim in the garage, injured and crying, the report stated.

The victim told deputies that she and Ritchie had come back from going out for drinks and got into an argument in the driveway, the report stated.

After she attempted to remove her belongings from the truck, “Michael became enraged and started to punch and kick her,” the report stated.

“(The victim) stated she was knocked to the ground and Michael got on top of her. (She) stated Michael started to punch her on both sides of the face. (She) stated Michael placed his hands around her neck and started to choke her,” the report stated.

“(She) told Michael to stop, ‘I’m going to die,’ (She) stated Michael said, ‘I’m going to kill you.’ (She) stated Michael continued to press down on her throat with force, impeding her ability to breathe normally,” the report stated.

“(She) said ‘I was one second away from dying.’ (She) stated she looked straight into Michael’s eyes and saw he had the power to kill. (She) stated he punched at her one more time, before she got up to run towards the neighbor’s house.”

Ritchie told deputies that they returned from The Pub in Maple Park, where they had drinks, when the victim started to throw his belongings out of the vehicle, the report stated.

Ritchie told deputies that he had to reach under his truck to to get his belongings and may have cut his pinky finger, the report stated.

Ritchie could not explain how the victim received her injuries and “stated he did not put his hands on (the victim),” the report stated.

“I observed Michael’s knuckles to be red and swollen,” the report stated. “I advised Michael his pinky finger was bleeding and should receive medical attention. Michael stated he was fine but would allow EMS to evaluate him. Michael appeared to stumble and sway while standing.”

Emergency Medical Services from the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District arrived on scene and provided Ritchie with a bandage for his pinky finger, the report stated.

They evaluated the victim and transported her to Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva for treatment of her injuries, the report stated.

The report listed the victim’s injuries as detailed by hospital: swollen bloody lips, bruises to the left cheek bone and eye, swollen and bloody left ear, bruises to the right cheek bone and eye, redness, scratches and irritation to the whole front neck, a bruise on her left shoulder, swollen and bruised left elbow, left wrist laceration, bruise on the right side of her back and multiple scratches to her back, the report stated.

The deputy conducted a criminal history check on Ritchie and found he had been charged with domestic battery in 2020 and was enrolled in a diversion program.

Kane County court records show he was charged on June 24, 2020 with two counts of misdemeanor domestic battery for which he pleaded guilty, but the judgment was withheld because he entered the domestic violence deferred prosecution program.

Through the program, Ritchie received counseling through the Community Crisis Center in Elgin, records show.

His hearing on that case is scheduled for Jan. 27, 2022, records show.

Ritchie is charged with two Class 2 felonies, punishable by four to seven years in prison and fines up to $25,000, or the judge has discretion to a sentence of up to 48 months of probation, if convicted.

Ritchie was ordered not to have contact with the victim nor entry at the Empire Road address, records show.

He is scheduled to appear in court on May 5.