Off-duty Lansdale cop stabbed trying to help police make an arrest

Andrew Kramer
July 05, 2019 - 1:43 pm
Officer Dan Gallagher.

Courtesy of the Lansdale Borough Police Department

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QUAKERTOWN, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — An off-duty Lansdale police officer is recovering after he was stabbed Friday morning in Bucks County.

At a press conference Friday afternoon, Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub says Lansdale police officer Dan Gallagher was not on the clock when he came across a situation along Route 309 in Quakertown Friday morning.

He says 45-year-old Stephen Deatelhauser was holding a knife and Richland Township police officers had their guns out.

"(Gallagher) got out of his car to assist (police)," Weintraub explained. "He tackled the knife-wielding suspect to the ground. During this incident, Deatelhauser stabbed Officer Dan Gallagher in his shoulder."

Officer Gallagher, a nine-year veteran of the force, is expected to make a full recovery and Weintraub called his actions “heroic.”

"He didn't stop to put on his uniform, he didn't check to see if he had his bullet proof vest, he didn't check to see if he had his service weapons," Weintraub said. "His first instincts were not for his own safety and protection, but for that of his fellow officers and for members of the public."

This incident, Weintraub says, is proof that police officers are never really truly off duty.

"Officer Gallagher just happened upon the scene," Weintraub said. "He was not called into action other than seeing what he saw and he saw a confrontation. Being sworn to serve and protect the public, he sprung into action."

Deatelhauser has been charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats, simple assault and related charges. 

Before the confrontation with police, Weintraub says Deatelhauser was causing "disturbances" at stores in the area, including pulling a fire alarm at a CVS Pharmacy.​

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KYW Newsradio's Kristen Johanson contributed to this report.