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Iowa man refuses to leave relative’s home, points gun at cops, who then flee

ONALASKA, IOWA – An Iowa man wasn’t wanted at his relative’s home, and when cops arrived to wake him up from his nap, the suspect produced a black gun and pointed it at the officers, who then fled and took cover.

On Sunday April 4, 2021 at approximately 7:03 AM, officers with the Onalaska police department were dispatched to 646 2nd Ave SW in the City of Onalaska to assist with removing an unwanted party. The caller advised her uncle, John Czapiewski, was sleeping on their back porch and she does not want him there. The caller also advised he can be very volatile.

Approximately seven minutes later, three Onalaska officers arrived on scene. Officers attempted contact via the back porch but the door was locked. Contact with the homeowner was made and an officer was allowed to enter the porch area from within the home. As the officer unlocked the porch door for the remaining officers, Czapiewski was advised it was time to get up. He responded, “yeah” and as he rolled over frorn under a blanket, he pulled out a black handgun and pointed it towards the officers. The officer closest to Czapiewski observed the firearm and shouted “gun!” as the officers quickly retreated out the back of the porch and took up positions of cover in the back yard. Officers were able to quickly establish a perimeter and have the homeowners safely exit the home through the front door.

An attempt was made to communicate with Czapiewski to drop the firearm and come out and talk to the officers. He refused to exit the porch. Due to the statement made of Czapiewski’s volatile past and the observed possession of a firearm, the Onalaska Police Department requested the assistance of the La Crosse County Emergency Response Team (ERT). At 10:03 AM, ERT arrived on scene and began negotiating with Czapiewski. At approximately 10:24 AM, officers at the rear of the home observed Czapiewski point the firearm out one of the porch windows. Given the increased threat, an ERT member fired five rounds in the direction of Czapiewslci. Moments later, a different ERT Member deployed a non-lethal gas round into the porch in an effort to convince Czaplewski to exit the porch. Approximately a minute later, Qapiewski exited the porch and was safely taken into custody.

Medical personnel were immediately requested on scene, at which time Czapiewski refused medical treatment. No other parties were injured in the incident. Czapiewski was arrested for:

– Intentionally Pointing a firearm at Person
– Criminal Trespass to Dwelling
– Failure to comply with officer and
– Bail Jumping.

Czapiewski was taken to the La Crosse County Jail. As standard protocol when deadly force is used by an officer, the Onalaska Police Department in conjunction with the La Crosse Co. Sheriffs Department, requested the assistance of the La Crosse Police Department to conduct an external review of the incident and level of force used.

John Czapiewski
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