SHAWANO - A 22-year-old Black Creek man has been charged in connection with an assault that severely injured a Gillett man.
Court documents say Cody Chapin turned himself in after seeing FOX 11's report on the incident.
"We've had quite a bit of success since the investigation began," said Shawno County Sheriff's Department Capt. Tom Tuma. "The public exposure - via social media - and the television media did help in getting some of these folks convinced that it was time to bring an end to some of these activities."
Chapin has been charged with second-degree reckless injury in the assault that left 27-year-old Kyle Patzer with multiple skull fractures, blood clots and bleeding on the brain.
Chapin made a bond appearance by video in Shawano County court Thursday afternoon. He is now out of jail on a $15,000 signature bond.
[caption id="attachment_26238" align="alignleft" width="198"] Kyle Patzer, 27, is seen in this undated photo provided by family.[/caption]
Patzer has been in a Green Bay hospital since the attack. However, his uncle Robin Reed tells FOX 11 Patzer is stable enough to go home and will be discharged Thursday evening.
Tuma says there's no clear reason as to what led up to the assault.
"At this point, it appears that the motive behind this was minimal - if present at all."
According to the criminal complaint, Chapin admits to having drunk too much, lying to police and grabbing Patzer by his chest and shoving him. Court documents say Chapin thought Patzer was hitting on his girlfriend - which she denies.
A family statement says, in part:
"The Patzer family would like to thank the Shawano County Sheriff's office (and detectives) for their diligence in the investigation of this random act of violence against their loved one."
It goes on to say,"As for Kyle's condition, he has been stable, yet with severe pain that will last for a few weeks. The doctors feel that he will make a full recovery, eventually."
But the statement adds that the long-term impact of his injuries will be known only with time.
A call for help
Police say they were called to Warrington Ave. in Cecil around 1 a.m. Saturday for an assault outside a bar, where they found Patzer. Tuma says the deputies' first job was to help him.
"Thankfully, there were some trained personnel on, that were able to initially evaluate him and help him out," said Tuma, referring to the bar's bouncer, a trained EMT.
"Responding deputies did an excellent job of collecting names, but did run into some resistance as far as actually telling the story - who knew what and who saw what."
Court documents show Patzer told investigators he was out with friends at the bar Castaways when he went outside to have a cigarette with a friend.
“And then a guy came up from behind him, grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and his belt loops, picked him upside down and just slammed his head down into the ground,” Reed told FOX 11 on Sunday.
Court documents say another man threatened Patzer's friend if he called police.
Tuma says some people are still not cooperating with investigators.
"We're looking at another person of interest who may have some connection to this case, who hasn't come forward yet, but we believe played a role in this," Tuma said.
Tuma says investigators are still interviewing witnesses and expect more arrests to come.
Chapin is due back in court next month.