The Plover Police officer involved in an Aug. 8 shooting told investigators he believed Brett Lieberman intended to kill him. Lieberman was charged Tuesday with attempted 1st degree intentional homicide.
Lieberman was pulled over on Highway 54 near Plover after someone called in his vehicle for erratic driving. Officer Andrew Hopfensperger initiated that traffic stop. Officer Hopfensperger and a citizen witness said Lieberman pulled over on the shoulder, got out of his vehicle and ran toward Officer Hopfensperger holding knife. The officer said Lieberman grabbed his right shoulder and thrust the knife at this head, neck, and shoulders. Officer Hopfensperger said he was able to block the stab attempts.
In a press release, Plover Police Chief Dwayne Wierzba said officer Hopfensperger used his department issued handgun to stop the potentially lethal attack. Lieberman was hospitalized for gunshot wounds.
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 had been on administrative leave which is standard in these types of investigations, but returned to work Sept. 1.
Lieberman remains in custody on a $100,000 cash bond. He'll return to court Oct. 6 to learn if his case will head to trial.
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