QUAKERTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — An off-duty officer is being hailed a hero Friday after he jumped into action to help take down a suspect. The officer was even stabbed during the scuffle.
“All I heard from the back room was a siren go past me from the parking lot outback,” Giant employee John Challenger said.
Employees and customers at Giant grocery store, Wawa and CVS along Route 309 in Quakertown in Bucks County say they saw police chasing a man who was later identified as 45-year-old Stephen Deatelhauser, of Souderton.
The Bucks County District Attorney says it all started with disturbance calls to police after Deatelhauser allegedly showed a knife and pulled a fire alarm at multiple businesses.
He ended up at CVS, where authorities say he was tackled in the parking lot. Officer Daniel Gallagher, who was off duty and happened to be nearby, saw what was happening. The 36-year-old jumped into action and tackled the suspect to the ground.
The DA says during the scuffle, Deatelhauser used this knife to stab Gallagher in his left shoulder.
At an afternoon press conference, Lansdale’s police chief called Gallagher a hero.
“I’m very proud of him,” Chief Michael Trail. “I would’ve expected nothing less. His actions are a shining example to the professionalism of this agency and law enforcement in general.”
Similar sentiments were shared by DA Matt Weintraub.
“He was off duty today but when he saw the call to act, he didn’t stop to put on his uniform, he didn’t check to see if he had his bulletproof vest, he didn’t check to see if he had his service weapon, he didn’t stop for any of those things. His first instincts were not for his own safety or protection, but for that of his fellow officers and for members of the public.”
Gallagher is at home resting with his wife and children.
Deatelhauser is expected to arraigned Friday afternoon. His charges range from aggravated assault on a police officer to terroristic threats.
CBS3’s Chantee Lans reports.