A Souderton man who stabbed an off-duty Lansdale police officer in a shoulder Friday morning after an erratic and defiant foot chase in Richland Township will remain in jail until trial, authorities said.
Stephen Deatelhauser, 45, was charged Friday afternoon with aggravated assault, terroristic threats, simple assault, creating a false alarm, and fleeing apprehension for the attack on Daniel Gallagher, a patrolman and nine-year veteran of the Lansdale Police Department, said Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub.
“I’m very proud of him,” Lansdale Police Chief Michael Trail said of Gallagher, 36. “I would have expected nothing less.”
Deatelhauser had been out on bail since his arrest in late April on charges of arson and criminal trespass. Police said then that he locked himself in a janitor’s closet at A&T Chevrolet in West Rockhill and lit a fire using paper as tinder.
Deatelhauser, sporting baggy jail garb and bruises on his face, muttered an expletive to reporters as he was escorted into Quakertown District Court late Friday afternoon for his preliminary arraignment. He was combative in the courtroom.
“I will not sit,” he snapped at police officers who directed him to take a seat before District Judge Lisa Gaier. He interrupted the 10-minute proceeding several times. As Gaier read aloud his charges and possible punishments, beginning with the most severe — aggravated assault, carrying a potential 10-year prison term and a $25,000 fine — Deatelhouser responded casually: “That sucks.”
On Friday about 10:15 a.m., Richland police received two calls about Deatelhauser, who authorities said had tried to steal a man’s phone at a Lowe’s store. In the following minutes, police said, he fled from the hardware store to a Wawa, then to a CVS. At one point, he showed Richland Cpl. Matthew Lawhead a pocket knife, waving it “in an aggressive manner," according to the affidavit of probable cause for his arrest.
In the CVS, authorities said, Deatelhauser pulled the fire alarm before coming back out holding the knife in his right hand and a Kubotan — a small, baton-like weapon with a pointed end — in his left, according to court documents. He then ran toward busy Route 309.
On one of the highway’s center turn lanes, authorities said, Deatelhauser turned around holding his weapons and ignored officers’ commands to put them down. Gallagher, police said, got out of his car and grabbed Deatelhauser around his torso to try to tackle him to the ground. In the scuffle, according to the affidavit, Deatelhauser stabbed Gallagher in the left shoulder.
At least one officer pulled a weapon, Weintraub said, but did not shoot. Authorities said Gallagher needed to get seven stitches for the cut.
In District Court, moments before officers led him out of the courtroom, Deatelhauser stopped short and spoke to the judge. “Your Honor,” he said, “I didn’t mean to hurt that man. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”