RICHLAND TWP. — "Your honor, I didn't mean to hurt that man. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

With those words, 45-year-old Steven Deatelhauser was led out of a Bucks County courtroom Friday afternoon, remanded to jail and facing a long list of charges for allegedly stabbing a Lansdale police officer hours earlier.

Lansdale Police Officer Daniel Gallagher, 36, a nine-year veteran of the department, was at home recovering Friday night after being stabbed in the left shoulder and requiring seven stitches, according to police and Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub.

"Officer Gallagher just happened upon the scene. He was not called into action, other than seeing what he saw, and he saw a confrontation," Weintraub said.

"Being sworn to serve and protect the public, he sprung into action. As a result of his actions, sadly for him he got injured — but we're very, very fortunate no one else did," he said.

Roughly six hours before, around 10:30 a.m. Friday, police were first called to the Lowe's shopping center at 1001 S. West End Blvd. (Route 309) in Richland Township.

When they arrived, according to police, a man said that a suspect later identified as Deatelhauser had asked to borrow a phone, tried to walk away with the phone, then threw it down and fled the store.

A friend of Deatelhauser's who asked not to be identified said later he had also seen Deatelhauser at the Lowe's, looking around as though he was looking for a car in the parking lot, then inexplicably running into a car. 

As police looked for the suspect, they found a man matching the description at the intersection of South West End and Tollgate Road, who was later identified as Deatelhauser, according to the police criminal complaint against him.

"The defendant is alleged to have gone into a CVS store up in that area, and displayed a 4-inch folding knife," said Weintraub, holding a photo of the knife, "and then pulled a fire alarm and ran out of the store."

From the CVS, Deatelhauser is alleged to have then run out onto Route 309 while fleeing from Richland Township officers responding to the scene.

"He ran out onto 309, which as we all know is a very, very busy roadway," Weintraub said.

"The suspect refused commands, and brandished a knife, and apparently had another weapon in his other hand," he said.

The police affidavit identifies the second weapon as a Kubotan metal puncture weapon. As Deatelhauser ran from the CVS, through the parking lot, and into the center turn lane of 309, police continued to pursue him, until Deatelhauser allegedly turned around and brandished the two weapons, ignoring commands to put them down.

"It was at that time that Officer Dan Gallagher of the Lansdale Police Department, who was off duty, became involved, and ran out of his car to assist," Weintraub said.

"He tackled the knife-wielding suspect to the ground. During this incident, Deatelhauser stabbed Officer Dan Gallagher in his shoulder," said Weintraub.

Police then apprehended Deatelhauser, and said both he and Gallagher were taken to St. Luke's Hospital for treatment. Gallagher was released later Friday afternoon, and is expected to make a full recovery.

"I'm very proud of him. I would've expected nothing less. His actions are a shining example to the professionalism of his agency, and law enforcement in general," said Lansdale Police Chief Michael Trail.

Deatelhauser was arrested and faces numerous charges, including two felony counts of aggravated assault — one for attempting to harm each officer — and additional charges for making terroristic threats, fleeing the scene, simple assault and setting off the false fire alarm.

"We wanted to charge him immediately, so he is no longer a risk to the public — no longer an active public danger," Weintraub said.

When asked if Deatelhauser had been known to police beforehand, Weintraub declined to comment, but said the case is still under investigation and further charges could be added later.

In the Richland Township courtroom of District Judge Lisa Gaier about an hour later, Deatelhauser had trouble recalling his mailing address, current job, how long since he had last been in prison, and when he last underwent a mental health evaluation.

Deatelhauser said his last evaluation had been postponed multiple times in recent weeks, most recently because he "had something else to take care of."

He also wished the judge "Good morning" at the start of the hearing, at roughly 4:30 p.m., and she replied "Good afternoon" — a contrast to his expletive greeting to assembled media outside.

Gaier read out the charges and explained the arraignment procedure to Deatelhauser, who stood in a blue prison jumpsuit.

He said he understood each charge, as she read them and listed the possible sentences, including possible jail time of up to 10 years for each felony.

Gaier than ruled that all charges be held over for court, and that Deatelhauser be held without bail in the Bucks County Correctional Facility until a preliminary hearing on July 18.

"There is not a condition, or a combination of conditions, other than prison that can reasonably assure the safety of the community, and yourself," she said.

As he left the courtroom, Gaier wished him luck, and Deatelhauser replied he didn't mean to hurt Gallagher.

Weintraub said he was thankful that Gallagher and the Richland officers handled the incident as they did, and did not escalate.

"I'm very, very grateful, especially to Officer Gallagher and to any officers that drew their weapons, that no one had to shoot. Or we would be having an entirely different press conference, and telling a much more tragic story."

Trail said Gallagher, a member of his department's community service unit who was honored twice by the department in January, was thankful for the support he has heard from the public.

"These officers are never off duty. They take their oath, and their dedication to this job, very seriously. That's what you see here today. We're glad it worked out the way it did," he said.

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