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Police use “less lethal” tactic during Easter morning stand-off

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ONALASKA, Wis. (WXOW) - The La Crosse County Emergency Response Team fired "gas rounds" for a less lethal method to get 61-year-old John Czapiewski out of his relative's house.

Onalaska Police Department Chief Charles Ashbeck said law enforcement responded to a call at 7 a.m. on Sunday asking that police help remove historically volatile Czapiewski from his relative's home.

Czapiewski was sleeping on their porch on the 600 block of 2nd Avenue SW in Onalaska.

Chief Ashbeck said Czapiewski pointed a gun at officers through the window and refused to leave. The ERT then fired "less lethal" rounds containing gas that forced him out of the porch when he was arrested.

"It is our hope again to always be able to de-escalate with no force but if we can de-escalate with this lower level of force than going to a deadly force," Chief Ashbeck said. "In our opinion that's always best as long as we can keep both sides safe."

Chief Ashbeck said these protocols have been in use for a long time. Police requested medical attention for Czapiewski but he refused it.

Czapiewski appeared in La Crosse County Circuit Court Monday afternoon where he faces 14 charges following his arrest on Sunday. He remains jailed on a $10,000 cash bond.

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Marcus Aarsvold

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