UPDATE: Trooper bumped by alleged drunken driver tells his story - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Trooper bumped by alleged drunken driver tells his story


WAUSAU (WAOW) -- Driving drunk is enough to get you in trouble. But authorities said one Wausau man's list of offenses didn't stop there when he hit a marked state patrolman's car on Thursday.

37-year-old Chad Kopchinski faces his fourth OWI charge in five years. He was pulled over Thursday morning. Officers said he also had a loaded rifle, hunting knife and bow in his car at the time.

The trooper Kopchinski hit said he's usually on the lookout for people breaking the law. But Kopchinski found him, bumping into the officer's stopped squad car.

"A guy rolled into the back of my squad car at a pretty low speed but nevertheless he hit the back end of the car," said Wisconsin State Patrol trooper Rick Graveen.

Police said Kopchinski didn't hold back when they asked him what he was up to -- texting while driving, over the legal blood alcohol limit and police said Kopchinski had open containers and a loaded rifle with ammunition in the front seat plus a hunting bow and knife.

"He pretty much admitted to most of the things," said Graveen. "He was cooperative with us. You might say he did a lot of things wrong. How unlucky can you get? If you're going to rear-end somebody, why would you drive into a fully-marked squad car?"

Graveen said state patrol officers often write up traffic accidents, but since his car was involved, he called in the Wausau police for backup.

"It is unusual for one of the police vehicles to be struck by another driver, in this case, by a drunk driver who was texting," said Wausau police department deputy chief Bryan Hilts.

Authorities said this incident brings attention to many issues distracted drivers face. They said they hope people will pay more attention when they're on the roads.

"These things are out there all the time, day or night, it doesn't seem to matter what time of day it is, there's people out there doing stuff like that," said Graveen.

"We need to be careful as we have more and more small technology that we can keep in the palm of our hand while we're driving," said Hilts.

Kopchinski appeared briefly in Marathon County court on Friday and is currently being held at the jail. He did not have a lawyer listed as of Friday evening. Kopchinski is scheduled to return to court for his initial appearance on Monday.

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