A man accused of threatening an officer with a knife during a traffic stop August 8, prompting a lengthy closure of the highway remains in jail on a $100,000 cash bond.
Police say the driver, Brett Lieberman, 33, of Manawa, exited his vehicle, quickly approached officer Andrew Hopfensperger’s squad and initiated an unprovoked attack on Hopfensperger with a knife. In a press release, Plover Police Chief Dwayne Wierzba said officer Hopfensperger used his department issued handgun to stop the potentially lethal attack.
The incident happened around 6:45 p.m. Friday evening on westbound State Highway 54 approaching Plover.
Based on the information to this point, the Plover Police Department believes Officer Hopfensperger used appropriate force to defend himself and stop the threat posed to him by Lieberman’s attack. Lieberman has been hospitalized with gunshot wounds.
There were no other occupants in the vehicle.
The Department of Justice- Division of Criminal Investigation was requested to lead the investigation. The Portage County Sheriff's Department, the Wisconsin State Patrol and the Wisconsin Crime Laboratory are assisting the Department of Criminal Investigation.
The officer involved was not injured. The officer has been employed by the Plover Police Department since October 2006. The officer has been placed on administrative leave which is standard in these types of investigations.
Lieberman is expected to be charged with attempted 1st degree intentional homicide. He'll return to court Sept. 2.
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