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West Allis Firefighter recognized for continuing CPR on woman while being attacked

WEST BEND, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A West Bend man is now charged after allegedly attacking an off-duty firefighter who was performing CPR on a woman.

Robert Ryan, 32, is facing charges of Misdemeanor Battery, Obstruction of Emergency or Rescue Persons, and Disorderly Conduct.

According to the criminal complaint, off-duty West Allis Firefighter Chad Staszak was performing CPR on an unresponsive woman at GERMANfest in West Bend on August 24. An off-duty West Bend Police Sergeant was also assisting.

While they were doing CPR, Ryan allegedly approached and began yelling in a deep and aggressive tone that he was better trained than anyone on scene and that everyone should get out of his way.

Ryan then leaned over Staszak who was performing CPR and continued to yell.

According to the criminal complaint, Ryan's actions were interrupting the lifesaving efforts that were being given to the woman. West Bend Police say the 85-year-old woman had a heart-attack. Ryan was ordered to leave the area but continued to yell that the woman just needed some room to breathe and a cold compress.

Ryan also allegedly punched or elbowed Staszak in the head during CPR, causing him to stop what he was doing for a short period of time.

“You’re kind of upset you’re trying to help people and this gentleman says he knows more about lifesaving efforts than I do and then he strikes,” Staszak said. “You really aren’t expecting or anticipating that at any time.”

Despite the quick lapse in CPR, Staszak continued life-saving efforts.

“I kept going because I know there was somebody that needed help,” Staszak said. “She wasn’t breathing, had no pulse.”

Staszak was ok, suffering a bump on the back of his head.

“I wouldn’t change anything I did that day,” Staszak said. “If I had to do it tomorrow I would do the same thing.”

The woman died at the hospital.

The West Bend Police Department is now praising Staszak’s efforts. They sent a letter to the Mayor of West Allis saying, “Mayor Devine, you should be proud to have such an outstanding individual working for your city.”

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