District Attorney: Officer Justified in Shooting

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HEMLOCK TOWNSHIP --The Columbia County District Attorney now says a police officer was justified in shooting a truck driver late last night. State police say the driver assaulted a Hemlock Township police officer right on an interstate 80 exit, leading the officer to shoot him, twice.

The district attorney says Hemlock Township police officer Charles Dietterick was justified when he shot a truck driver from Oklahoma City. It happened last night when Dietterick pulled the rig over near the Buckhorn exit off Interstate 80 and police say the truck driver put up a fight.

Tires and several pallets sat in the trailer while state police searched the rig belonging to Dan Hadean. He's the truck driver from Oklahoma City who was shot last night during a fight with a Hemlock Township police officer.

State police say the situation started after nine last night, when officer Charles Dietterick stopped Hadean's tractor-trailer on the eastbound interstate 80 off-ramp at the Buckhorn exit. Troopers said the rig had several violations including a missing front bumper. When Hadean was told the truck was going to be towed. Officials say he got upset and ran back toward the truck. The officer tried to stop him by using a stun gun. Troopers say the trucker then sprayed the officer in the face with pepper spray. He then took out a hammer.

“He was attempting to retreat and giving commands and was then struck in the hand with a mallet type hammer by Mr. Hadean knocking the Taser from his hand.” said Trooper David Peters.

State police tell us the officer, backed away from Hadean even after he was attacked twice. He crossed over the exit ramp before he took the shots.

“Based off of that I would think the officer used his fire arm to try and protect himself.” said Trooper David Peters.

Truck drivers Newswatch 16 spoke with at a rest stop near Danville say Hadean shouldn't have been carrying pepper spray. They call his reaction to the officer suspicious.

“The way it sounds to me, he was trying to hide something and get away with it. It`s inexcusable right there. That officer is out there doing his job. If he was doing his job right there wouldn't have had that problem to begin with.” said Jason Thomas, New York.

State police say the truck appeared to be hauling fruit. There's no word on what the search of the rig turned up. As for the driver, he is still at the hospital tonight but authorities say he is expected to recover. The district attorney is still deciding on charges.


  • Arvin

    It’s amazing reading these posts, and previous ones on this story, that experts posting on here know:

    A) How the truck driver should have acted.
    B) What the cop should have done.
    C) Who is guilty and who isn’t and substantial evidence to support it.

    And all their information came from stories on Newswatch 16 or the local paper, both of which they complain about how it was reported.Who needs courtrooms? The ‘real experts’ are in dimly lit basements all around the area.

  • lg

    hmm why tow the truck if there are violations why not put truck out of service till driver makes the repairs?…trust me im not defending anyone here just asking why there so many things in this report that leave loop holes such as why tase when he was going away not threatening? …no driver shouldnt have reacted this way unless he feared for his life….and sad to say youll prolly never hear other side..driver never shouldve been on road with violations

  • Ted

    Typical truck driver. They hafta settle things with their fists
    rather than listen to reason. They think they own the road.
    No unemployment line here. This goon is going to the big
    house for a long long time. He & Bubba can fight over who
    gets the last sheet of toilet paper… lol

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