Tuesday, September 25, 2018

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Attempted homicide charge faced in Chippewa County

Man accused of stabbing deputy

  • Abbiehl-Travis-091118

CHIPPEWA FALLS — A Cadott man accused of stabbing a Chippewa County deputy on Aug. 25 is now facing charges of attempted homicide, resisting or obstructing an officer and recklessly endangering safety.

Travis A. Abbiehl, 35, 10356 250th St., appeared Monday in Chippewa County Court, where Judge Steve Gibbs set a $100,000 cash bond.

“I believe the defendant is a threat to himself and the public,” Gibbs said. As a requirement of bond, Abbiehl must take all medications prescribed to him.

District Attorney Wade Newell described how Abbiehl reportedly attacked Sgt. Andrew Clark, stabbing him in the left shoulder. It took several officers to subdue and arrest Abbiehl. Newell requested the $100,000 bond.

“I believe there is substantial risk to the community (if he were released),” Newell said. “At any time, he could stop taking his medication.”

Since the incident occurred, Abbiehl has been held in a mental health facility, but he was booked into the Chippewa County Jail on Friday after being found competent by a Dunn County judge, said Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk.

While he acknowledged the charges are serious, defense attorney Kirby Harless requested a signature bond and for Abbiehl to be released, saying his client is doing well now that he has resumed taking his medication.

“He is no longer a danger, and they’ve set him up with outpatient therapy,” Harless said.

Newell said that simply wasn’t good enough supervision.

“They would not be supervising him at the level needed to protect the community,” Newell said. “He has an issue with law enforcement and conforming his behavior to the law.”

Abbiehl appeared in court via video from the jail. A sign language interpreter appeared in court to relay the conversation to Abbiehl, who indicated in response that he understood what was occurring.

Abbiehl will return to court Sept. 18.

Clark returned to work Friday, Kowalczyk said. He was treated and released from a hospital in Eau Claire after the incident and has been recovering at home.

The incident began when authorities received a call at 9:49 a.m. Aug. 25 about suspicious persons on 90th Street, near Highway 29. A caller said Abbiehl was “not taking his prescribed medication and was acting erratic.”

Upon arrival, the deputies saw Abbiehl sitting in a vehicle, holding a knife. Deputies approached the car and attempted to communicate with him. Abbiehl exited the car, charged Clark and stabbed him in the shoulder. Deputies used their stun guns twice to subdue Abbiehl.

Online court records show Abbiehl was found not guilty of disorderly conduct by reason of mental disease or defect in 2011, and he was being housed at the Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison after that incident.

Contact: chris.vetter@ecpc.com

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