Police Investigating Stabbing in Industrial Park

HANOVER TOWNSHIP — A man from Dallas faces felony charges after admitting he stabbed his girlfriend Thursday morning in Luzerne County.

Officers say the man threatened them and other coworkers and at one point said he wouldn’t be taken alive.

As Fred Koptcho, 48, of Dallas was led into the Hanover Township Police Department in shorts, he spoke to reporters.

“Don’t fall in love with a married girl,” Koptcho said. “I accidentally stabbed her. It was by accident. It was my girlfriend, it was my girlfriend.”

The drama all started around 6 a.m. at the Mondelez plant in the Hanover Industrial Park, near Ashley.

Police were called for a domestic dispute. What they found was a woman stabbed several times and the suspect, Fred Koptcho, gone.

A company spokesman said both worked for the company that runs the cafeteria.

Police said with Koptcho on the run he was a threat to the community. They say he told officers over the phone that he wouldn’t be taken alive.

“Stabbed multiple times and then to return to the business, that he was going to return and do harm to additional people and then further, to go on to say they would be willing to do harm to law enforcement that would take him into custody. Obviously we take (that) very seriously,” said Chief Al Walker, Hanover Township Police.

For most of the day the Hanover Area High School complex was put under lock down.

“There is no direct threat to the schools in the area or anything of that nature but anytime somebody makes a statement like that, it’s best to err on the side of caution,” said Principal Dan Malloy.

With the threats made to police, the Hanover Township Municipal Building was locked and people were turned away.

“They just said the building was closed right now,” said Jeff Andrews. “I have a permit to get. I guess I’ll just have to wait.”

Police talked with Koptcho on his cell phone hoping he would surrender.  Using technology, officers used his cell phone signal to track him down and take him into custody.

Investigators say his victim will recover from her stab wounds.

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