DOYLESTOWN — The man who stabbed an off-duty Lansdale police officer who came to the aid of Richland Township officers during a foot chase that ended on Route 309 said during his Oct. 20 sentencing that he would like to apologize to the officer.
"He saved my life," Stephen Deatelhauser, 46, said over a video connection from Bucks County Correctional Facility to Bucks County Judge Gary Gilman's courtroom.
"If he wouldn't have done that," Deatelhauser said, "who knows what would have happened."
Deatelhauser said he could have been shot by police in the incident or injured by traffic.
Lansdale Officer Daniel Gallagher received seven stitches after being stabbed in the left shoulder during the July 5, 2019 incident in which Gallagher grabbed Deatelhauser around the torso as the Richland officers pursued Deatelhauser following a disturbance at a shopping center, police said.
Gallagher was promoted to sergeant in September of 2019. He was also presented with an Award of Valor medal by the National Liberty Museum.
The effects of the July 5 incident continue, however, and Gallagher is off the job and not expected to return to work, Bucks County Deputy District Attorney Edward Louka said at the sentencing.
On Oct. 2, Deatelhauser pleaded no contest to the charges in the case. He also pleaded no contest to reckless burning charges in a case in which Pennridge Regional Police said he locked himself in a closet at A&T Chevrolet in West Rockhill in April of 2019 and set a fire.
In answer to questions by his attorney, public defender Bradley Bastedo, at the Oct. 20 sentencing, Deatelhauser said he was in the hospital the night before both incidents after having suffered seizures.
In both instances, the hospitals considered longer term mental health care, but discharged Deatelhauser who also had drugs in his system, Bastedo said.
Deatelhauser, who has been in Bucks County Correctional Facility without bail since his July 15, 2019 arrest, said he has been on medication for the seizures while in prison and has not had a seizure since September of last year.
Since entering the prison, he was hospitalized once for pneumonia and twice for seizures, he said.
He also said he is a carpenter by trade, but can no longer do that job because of his medical condition.
Deatelhauser's father, retired Magisterial District Court Judge Kenneth Deatelhauser, said the family did not know about the seizures "until the time they got really bad."
Stephen Deatelhauser had a motorcycle accident in which he received head injuries, his father said.
"I love him dearly. I'll do anything I can for him and hope to get him on the right track," Kenneth Deatelhauser said.
"The fact that he can't be a carpenter is devastating," he said. "He was a good one."
While the seizures may play a role in the incidents, Gilman said, Deatelhauser's methamphetamine use also has to be taken into consideration.
"That is a huge problem that you've got to get a handle on," Gilman said.
"You put officers in peril, along with other people," Gilman told Deatelhauser before saying he considered sending Deatelhauser to state prison, but decided to set a sentence that would be served in the county prison instead.
Deatelhauser, who will receive credit for the time already served, was sentenced to one day less than a year to one day less than two years in prison followed by five years of probation.
He can only be paroled if it is to enter an inpatient drug and alcohol treatment program, Gilman said.