Wounded Taylor County deputy gets out of hospital

Sheriff's deputy gets hero's welcome home after release from hospital

A northern Wisconsin sheriff’s deputy who was shot and wounded while questioning a suspect last week has been released from the hospital.

Deputy Chad Kowalczyk was released from Aspirus Wausau Hospital Sunday, according to Taylor County sheriff’s officials.

Law enforcement officers from Taylor, Clark, Marathon and Chippewa counties were among those who escorted the injured deputy to his parents’ house in Boyd, The Chippewa Herald reported.

“It was overwhelming. I now know first-hand the beauty of the law enforcement brotherhood,” said Chad’s mother, Cheryl Kowalczyk. “I saw strong and loyal friends, and a lot of love. A lot of love.”

That wasn’t the only support Kowalczyk saw on his trip Sunday. People lined up along highway overpasses and the roads leading into Boyd to wave American flags and hold signs of support for Kowalczyk.

His uncle, Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk, said the shooting had caused everyone, including himself, to think twice about the sort of dangers law enforcement officers face on the job.

“Chad’s had a tough week. But he has a positive attitude and his greatest asset is youth. And we’re hoping he can put his uniform back on and get back to doing what he wants to do,” the sheriff said.

Deputy Kowalczyk was to be the best man at his brother’s wedding, but he had to watch the ceremony live over Skype. Another brother filled in as best man, the family said.

Authorities say Alexander Schneider shot Kowalczyk while the deputy was trying to talk to Schneider about a court-ordered injunction. Schneider remains jailed on $1 million bond.