La Crosse man charged after pulling gun in Onalaska Sunday

John Czapiewski

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — A La Crosse man was charged with 14 crimes Monday after he was arrested Sunday in Onalaska after pointing a gun at a police officer.

John Czapiewski, 61, was in La Crosse County Circuit Court. He’s being held on a $10,000 cash bond.

He was charged with second degree recklessly endangering safety with a dangerous weapon, intentionally point a firearm at person, failure to comply with officers using a dangerous weapon, bail jumping using a dangerous weapon, disorderly conduct using a dangerous weapon, criminal trespass to dwelling, criminal damage to property, two counts of theft, two counts of disorderly conduct, two counts of bail jumping and resisting or obstructing an officer.

Onalaska Police Department on Monday released more information about the incident.

Onalaska officers were dispatched to the home on the 600 block of Second Avenue Southwest at just after 7 a.m. Sunday after a caller told dispatchers that Czapiewski was sleeping on her back porch. The caller said she did not want him there and he had a history of being very volatile, according to police.

Officers arrived and the homeowner let them onto porch; however, when officers told Czapiewski that it was time for him to wake up and leave, Czapiewski pulled out a black handgun and pointed it at the police, according to the department.

Officers retreated off the porch and escorted the homeowners out through the front door.

According to Onalaska police, they tried to talk Czapiewski into dropping the gun and exiting the porch; however, he refused. They then called the La Crosse County Emergency Response Team, which arrived at 10:03 a.m. and began negotiating with Czapiewski.

Twenty-minutes later, police say Czapiewski pointed the gun out the window and an emergency response team member fired five rounds in his direction while another team member shot a gas round onto the porch. About a minute later, he exited the porch and was taken into custody.

The Onalaska Police Department and La Crosse County Sheriff’s Department has asked the La Crosse Police Department to conduct an external review of the incident and level of force used, which is standard protocol any time deadly force is used by an officer.

Read the Onalaska Police Department’s statement here: Press Release 4.5.2021