The day after David Allen Hamilton Jr. came face to face with the two girls he is accused of raping, he was in front of a different judge, listening as the details of his week-long attempt to escape those allegations came to light.

Hamilton, 48, faced two preliminary hearings on Tuesday, in cases in which police say he assaulted an officer and coerced a former girlfriend into giving him the keys to someone else's car.

Those charges — which include aggravated assault, disarming a law enforcement officer, and resisting arrest in the first case, and theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property in the second — were all held for trial in Bucks County Court by District Judge Maggie Snow. Snow set Hamilton's arraignment in both cases for Nov. 30, the same day he is to be arraigned on charges of rape and related offenses.

The two victims, now 12 and 14, testified Monday that Hamilton, a friend of their mother's, raped and sexually assaulted them over a five-year period. Hamilton fled the area after an arrest warrant was issued for him in the case on Sept. 19.

Two days later, New Hope Borough Police Officer Stephen Gruber encountered Hamilton on the side of Stoney Hill Road, fixing a flat tire on a bicycle, the officer said Tuesday.

Hamilton identified himself only as "David," but Gruber said he recognized him from pictures circulated on social media and email by officers in Lower Southampton Township, who had been searching for him.

David Allen Hamilton Jr.
Courtesy Lower Southampton Policr
David Allen Hamilton Jr.

When Gruber asked Hamilton to put down the bike, Hamilton began to run, grabbing a second bicycle he had parked nearby, Gruber said. The officer said he then chased Hamilton, jumping onto his back and pulling him to the ground.

The men wrestled, with Hamilton rolling on top of Gruber. Gruber said he felt Hamilton's hands reach for his waist, where his gun was holstered. He was able to push Hamilton's arms away, and Hamilton stood and ran into the woods.

Gruber was unable to chase him because he injured his hips and elbow in the scuffle and sustained deep-bone bruises, he said Tuesday.

Hamilton's attorney, Sharif Abaza, argued, ultimately unsuccessfully, that there was no specific evidence that Hamilton was trying to take Gruber's gun, only that his hands were near the officer's waist.

Five days after that encounter in New Hope, investigators were given another lead in the case, when Robert Sock reported his car stolen.

Sock, testifying Tuesday, said he had been called at 5 a.m. that day by Meredith Custodio, the live-in caregiver to Anne Crosby, a cancer patient and friend of Sock's, for whom he had power of attorney.

Custodio was "not coherent," Sock said, and urged him to come to Crosby's home in Solebury Township. There, she explained that someone had taken the car, which Sock had parked at the house while he took Crosby's vehicle out to have its oil changed.

When the police came to interview Custodio, she revealed that she had given the keys to the car to Hamilton, who had come to the home days earlier seeking shelter. Sock said he had not given Custodio or anyone else permission to use his vehicle. Custodio has also been charged in the case, and will be arraigned in Doylestown on Nov. 16.

Days after Sock reported the car stolen, U.S. marshals, acting on a tip, arrested Hamilton at a relative's home in Aston, Delaware County. Detective Steve Brooks of Lower Southampton police said Tuesday that Hamilton helped lead them to Sock's car, which had been parked at the Harrah's casino in Chester.

For those charges, Abaza, Hamilton's attorney, made the case that Hamilton was unaware that Custodio didn't have permission to give him the vehicle, and therefore did not knowingly steal the vehicle. But the charges were held for court, along with those from the assault in New Hope.