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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Friday, February 22, 2019

Arrest Warrant Issued for Man Accused of Striking Downers Grove Student with Car

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and Downers Grove Chief of Police Shanon Gillette announced today that a $5 million arrest warrant has been issued for Joseph Kucharski, 51 (d.o.b. 8/9/1967) with a last known address in Naperville. 

On February 19, 2019, at approximately 10:55 A.M. the Downers Grove Police Department responded to a report of a person struck by a vehicle in the intersection of Main and Grant Streets. The preliminary investigation indicates that Elizabeth Dunlap, a 17-year-old junior at Downers Grove North High School, was crossing Main St. within the marked crosswalk, in conjunction with the “Walk” signal, when she was struck by a vehicle traveling southbound. The driver of the vehicle, Joseph Kucharski, allegedly crossed into the oncoming lanes and entered the intersection at Grant Street on a red light. Elizabeth Dunlap suffered life-threatening injuries and remains in critical care as a result of being struck. This incident remains under investigation. The Downers Grove Police Department is working closely with the Dunlap family and DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office. 

  Kucharski is expected to appear at a bond hearing on Monday, February 25, 2019. A joint announcement will be issued following Mr. Kucharski’s appearance in court. He is presently in custody.

  Kucharski has been charged with one count of Felony Aggravated DUI-Alcohol/Drugs and one count of Felony Reckless Driving. Anyone with additional information is asked to please contact the Downers Grove Police Department at (630) 434-5600.

 Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendant’s guilt.  A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.