Jail time for man that struck deputy with car sparking manhunt - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Jail time for man that struck deputy with car sparking manhunt


Eau Claire (WQOW) - A driver accused of leading police on a manhunt after hitting a deputy with his car has been sentenced to five months behind bars.

Chippewa County officials say Matt Hrdlicka forced a motorcyclist off the road last summer and ran over his bike. The motorcyclist wasn't hurt. But when a deputy walked up to his car, Hrdlicka allegedly hit him with his vehicle and drove off.

The deputy was off work for five months and underwent two surgeries to fuse vertebrae in his neck.

A manhunt was started using dogs, planes and the SWAT team. Police said Hrdlicka stole a boat and drove it upriver to a Jim Falls tavern where he was captured.


Chippewa County (WQOW) - Four felonies are filed against the man who allegedly hit a deputy with his car last weekend in Chippewa County.

Matt Hrdlicka of Cadott is charged with recklessly endangering safety, hit and run, and battery to an officer.

Witnesses say Hrdlicka was driving near Lake Wissota when he intentionally forced a motorcyclist off the road. The biker was not hurt, but said Hrdlicka ran over his motorcycle and fled.

Hrdlicka was stopped a short time later by a deputy, who says Hrdlicka hit his partner with his car and fled again. He did not have serious injuries. The sheriffs department says Hrdlicka then drove more than a mile down railroad tracks, before getting stuck.

At that point he allegedly yelled to pursuing deputies that he had a gun as he ran into the woods.

A two-hour manhunt using dogs, planes and the SWAT team ended when officials got a tip that Hrdlicka was at a Jim Falls tavern. Investigators say he had stolen a boat and driven it up the Chippewa River to get to the bar.


Chippewa County (WQOW) - The Chippewa County Sheriff's Department says it all started because of a motorcycle accident around 12:30 Saturday afternoon. Deputies arrived on scene after a car hit a motorcyclist by Lake Wissota.

Authorities say when a deputy came up to the driver's door, the man, Matthew Hrdlicka, stepped on the gas, hitting the deputy.

That lead to a chase, with Hrdlicka fleeing from authorities. He apparently abandoned his car near the railroad tracks, yelled out to deputies chasing him that he had a gun, and took off.

The SWAT team was called in, and an airplane was also called in from the state patrol. The team searched for about two hours, then got a tip that he was in a bar in Jim Falls, trying to arrange a ride.

Turns out, authorities say while the team was searching for him, he ran off into the woods and stole a boat, and drove it up the Chippewa River to Jim Falls. The SWAT team surrounded the bar, and he was taken into custody at gunpoint.

The deputy that was hit was treated and released and will be off work for a few days. It's unknown how badly the motorcyclist was injured.

A man hits a sheriff's deputy, leading to a manhunt in Chippewa County.


Here is the Press Release from the Chippewa County Sheriff's Department:


On Saturday 07/07/2012 shortly after 12 noon Deputies responded to a report of a car, motorcycle crash with injury near the intersection of CTH X and CTH J in the Town of Lafayette near Gordy's County market.
When Deputies arrived the operator of the car was uncooperative and refused to exit his vehicle. As one of the Deputies was walking around the vehicle to get over to the driver's door to assist the other deputy in dealing with the driver, the driver put the vehicle in gear and sped away at a high rate of speed striking the deputy knocking him to the ground.
The deputy that was struck was attended to by Chippewa Fire District Paramedics already on scene and was transported to St Joseph's Hospital, the other deputy pursued the striking vehicle west on CTH J toward Chippewa Falls. At the intersection of 167th Street the vehicle went north to the railroad tracks then west along the railroad tracks approximately a quarter mile before it got hung up on some rocks. The driver fled the vehicle into a wooded area stating to the pursuing deputy and the passenger in his vehicle he had a gun.
Other responding Deputies along with officers from the Chippewa Falls Police Department and Wisconsin State Patrol established a perimeter and the ERT Team was notified to respond.
With the assistance from the WSP aircraft, a canine unit from Rusk County Sheriff's Office and members of the Eau Claire County ERT team with the Bearcat a search was started of the area where the subject was last seen.
At approximately 2:30PM the command post at the scene was notified by the suspect's father that he had reliable information that the suspect, Michael Hrdlicka 31 YOA had stole a boat in the area and made his way across Lake Wissota and up the Chippewa River to Jim Falls and was now at a tavern in Jim Falls.
The aircraft from WSP was notified and immediately responded to the area of Jim Falls for aerial surveillance as the ERT Teams and Deputies reassembled from the ground search and responded to Jim Falls.
Hrdlicka was taken into custody after a brief struggle with deputies.
The injured deputy in the initial call was treated and released with minor injuries.
The incident remains under investigations with multiple charges expected to be filed with the District Attorney's Office prior to a bond hearing for Hrdlicka.
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