FITCHBURG, Wis. - Bail was set at $1 million for an 18-year-old suspect in the baseball-bat attack of a Fitchburg man.
Koalton Peterson, 18, was arrested after the early morning attack Tuesday, according to the Dane County Sheriff's Office.
Ryan M. Smith was found by Fitchburg police lying in the roadway.
He was transported by helicopter to the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison with serious injuries.
"What we know right now is that there was a dispute between two men shortly after midnight," Elise Schaffer, Dane County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman, said. "One of them ended up very seriously injured. He's in UW Hospital right now, and it is unclear whether he's going to recover from those injuries or not."
His family is now thanking those who helped Smith, including Mt. Horeb Police Officer Nathan Gretzinger who saved Smith's life by performing CPR and the UW Hospital staff who helped care for him.
In a statement, the family said that Smith is an asset to the community, a good friend and faithful member of his church.
"To know Ryan is to love him," the family wrote in the statement. "It is evident by the outpouring of love and support that is continuously being given by numerous individuals whose lives have been positively impacted by him."
To help cover expenses related to his injuries, a fund has been set up at Summit Credit Union.
Donations can be sent to:
Ryan M. Smith Medical Fund
Summit Credit Union
2939 South Fish Hatchery Road
Fitchburg, WI 53711
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