SANTA ROSA – The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) issued a bulletin about the arrest of a 56-year-old Santa Rosa man who severely beat his 74-year-old mother with cast iron frying pans.
At approximately 2:30 pm on Monday, October 5, the SCSO received a report of a physical assault in the 200 block of Darbster Place in the Larkfield area of Santa Rosa. Paramedics were on scene treating a woman suffering traumatic injuries from a violent attack and the suspect was no longer on the premises.
The victim was covered with blood on her face, neck and arms and told Deputies that her son, Robert Churich, had struck her repeatedly with a cast iron pan and left the scene in her car. She was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Neighbors told deputies that the woman had come to their home screaming for help and told them that her son had attacked her. The neighbors called 911 for assistance. Dispatch broadcasted a statewide alert to “be on the lookout” for Churich and the stolen car. Deputies contacted his girlfriend, Barbara Soiland, but she said that she hadn’t seen him or the car.
It was learned that Churich lives at the home with his elderly mother and that she was demanding that he move out. He became enraged and attacked her, eventually striking her repeatedly in the head with three different cast iron frying pans as she lay helpless on the floor. He beat her until the frying pan broke and then again armed himself with another. He left her for dead and took off in her car.
It was found that the woman’s cell phone and credit cards were missing. Authorities tracked the cards being used at various businesses in San Francisco. Deputies continued to search for the woman’s car, and then shortly after 1 pm a Healdsburg Police officer spotted the vehicle driving slowly near the tracks at Healdsburg Avenue. Two people were observed in the car.
Deputies quickly went to Healdsburg, which is north of Santa Rosa, and conducted a high-risk traffic stop on the stolen car. Churich was found with his girlfriend in the car. He was arrested without incident, and booked into Sonoma County jail for attempted murder, felony elder abuse, criminal threats, false imprisonment, obstructing the victim from using her cellular phone to call law enforcement, and vehicle theft. His bail was set at $1,500,000. He is due for his first court appearance tomorrow at 1:30 pm.
According to available arrest records, Churich has had issues with domestic violence in the past. Earlier this year, on March 2 while he was living in an apartment in Healdsburg, he was arrested for battery on a spouse, former spouse or co-habitant. Six years ago, in 2009, he was living at the Darbster residence in Santa Rosa when he was arrested for burglary. And in 2005, while he resided in Citrus Heights of Sacramento County, he was charged with violating a court order to prevent domestic violence, along with a probation violation. (Earlier records indicating the circumstances behind the court order were not available.)