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Crime & Courts

Sycamore man left comatose from Christmas Day fight dies

Attacker could face additional charges after death of Henry Berenz, 62, of Sycamore

John Knell
John Knell

SYCAMORE – A Sycamore man who was critically injured after an early morning altercation at his home Monday has died, Sycamore police said Wednesday.

Police said Henry Berenz, 62, of the 100 block of Millie Circle in Sycamore, died about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford after he was taken off life support.

According to court records, Berenz had tried to intervene in a domestic argument between 44-year-old John Knell of Pekin and one of Knell’s relatives. This prompted Knell to punch Berenz in the face, which caused all three to fall down several steps.

Berenz’s fall left him unconscious with injuries that included a fractured sternum, fractured ribs and bleeding of the brain, records said.

He was taken to Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital and later transferred to Saint Anthony’s.

Police charged Knell with aggravated domestic battery, aggravated battery and domestic battery.

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