Troopers: Cop Who Shot Truck Driver Had No Choice

HEMLOCK TOWNSHIP — State police say than an officer who shot a truck driver Monday night in Columbia County had no choice.

And in a news release Tuesday afternoon, Columbia County District Attorney Thomas Leipold said the shooting by Hemlock Township Officer Charles Dietterick was justified.

The incident happened around 9 p.m. Monday on the eastbound Interstate 80 off-ramp at the Buckhorn exit. That’s near Bloomsburg.

According to troopers, Officer Dietterick pulled the truck over for not having a front bumper and other violations. The officer told the driver that the rig was being pulled off the road.

Troopers say the truck driver, Dan Hadean, of Oklahoma City, became belligerent. Dietterick fired a stun gun at Hadean, but it was ineffective.

State police say that Hadean pulled out pepper spray and sprayed the officer. He is also accused of hitting Dieterrick on the hand with a large hammer, causing the officer to lose his grip on the stun gun.

Dietterick then shot Hadean two times, hitting him in shoulder and the abdomen.

Troopers say Hadean will recover, and he could be charged as soon as Tuesday afternoon.

State police say they want Hadean to be charged with attempted homicide, but the district attorney will have the final decision.

Troopers describe Hadean as as independent truck driver. They believe he was hauling fruit when he got pulled over in Columbia County.

55 comments

  • Elle

    I feel even worse for police now after reading all of these disgusting posts. They have to put their lives on the line for the likes of you, who trash them on the basis of NOTHING but your own prejudices. Yeah, whatever, no bumper on a truck, pepper spray and hit a cop with a hammer…defend THAT GUY. Hope they tested him at the hospital. Who wants to bet he was tweaking?

  • Sean

    If this cop tries this on me I’d lock my doors and say call dot I will be in my sleeper waiting for them because I’m not required to deal with you and it’s my right to request them out here I’d also record every thing so if he pulls something I’d have proof

    • truckercop

      What? I am a retired deputy sheriff who took up OTR truck driving as a second career. This is the last thing you want to do. The local officer has the same knowledge and power to red flag the comercial vehicle as the DOT and if he/she doesn’t they can get the info by a phone call. This incident sounds like the driver had the same misinformation. It sounds like a horrible situation for both involved. Ive seen some serious __ in both professions so I wont pass judgement yet, but if you hit an LE officer with a hammer you can usually rule out a verbal warning and being sent to the nearest T/A to get the violations fixed.

  • sully

    Its funny how many of you dont know, or understand the law. first of all, police officers, state and/or local, both receive the SAME training for DOT inspections. Secondly, local police can patrol or police any highway or roadway which passes through thier jurisdiction. Next, do some of you people understand deadly force, hint, a hammer qualifies. And as far as this icident being investigated it was. DA and PSP investigated, the truck driver will be charged accordingly. Many local police agencies in PA with enough officers have a DOT officer. So while many of you upstanding citizens want the police to be busting meth labs, that would not be his or her primary job as a DOT officer. But there is hope, I see that many of the people reading these posts do realize the stupidity of others, and click on the thumbs down. Actually, the overwealming majority. But my guess is that the ones who do, are people who live by rules that govern us all, and have no problem doing so. As for the rest of you, like a poster above mentioned, I’m sure you have been “wronged” by police, thus your dislike for them or any authority. As said before, although there are police who should not be, 99% of them are good at what they do. Its funny how a poster above stated it doesnt matter what happened, it’s what police say happened. That’s what a court of law is for, to find truth. I guess in your world, even when found guilty by members of your community, it still means you are innocent. To support this truck driver speaks volumes about you as a person.

  • Kbiss

    The officer isnt getting special treatment. His name mentioned a couple of times in the write up.

  • Robert howell

    All blaming aside, no matter who is started it as soon as the hammer was pulled out the police could have shot him dead no questions ask.

  • Wolfy

    said the shooting by Hemlock Township Officer Charles Dietterick was justified……According to troopers, Officer Dietterick pulled the truck over….Dietterick fired a stun gun….hitting Dieterrick on the hand…Dietterick then shot Hadean… Info of the article is “Posted on: 12:23 pm, May 27, 2014, by Andy Palumbo, updated on: 12:37pm, May 27, 2014″ and your comment about the names being withheld is “May 27, 2014 at 5:10 pm” which is about 10 minutes ago… Obviously you cant comprehend what you read “user” …

  • user

    I believe I should have said that I believe from the story told that the officer did the right thing. But it is simply not right that they withhold his name simply because he wants the investigation to end before his name is known.

    • Francis Drake

      I will correct that it was a police officer that was involved not a state trooper but then again they are all troopers. As I stated in my previous comment the truck driver was already parked on the get off according to witnesses and doing a VITI (vehicle inspection trailer inspection) when the cop pulled up behind him. That cop never pulled the truck driver over he pulled up behind the truck driver on the I-80 westbound exit 232 get off. More than likely that cop is part of that counties drug interdiction task force and more than likely to be fabricating and misrepresenting the facts as they should be. The part where that cop said he pulled the truck driver over is bull those cops know nothing to very little about FMCSA regulations. Like I said I’m betting that cop has a big power trip complex and has to show anybody he pulls over in that area that gives him lip, that he’s the boss and him and his crew run that town. To those that doubt what I’m commenting, if you’ve never traveled out of your own zip code and gone to PA you have no idea what it’s like in that part of the country. I’m saying the way I believe it went down being I know that area very well and the crap that happens at the hands of cops on power trips.

  • justaguy

    So grow up and lose the attitude and you won’t have any problems. The driver was wrong. He had violations, if he did not agree with the cop he could have taken it to the courts. The street is not the place to argue your case. The first act of aggression was the driver arguing with the cop instead of doing what he was told.

  • Thomas Daniels

    I do wonder though, if he did have pepper spray and a hammer, what was he thinking approaching the officer with them

  • Thomas Daniels

    As a current truck driver I am going to make a comment. Most of us drivers.have been Dot’d. It sucks but its part of the job. If an officer gives you problems, as a professional, you act professional and take it. I know it sucks but if you are given a ticket or placed out of service you take care of it. I believe there are some nuisance cops out there but we deal with it. We can appeal the ticket and there are lawyers that do pro bono work if you feel you were mistreated during an inspection. I don’t agree and don’t believenjenshould have been hassled for his bumper missing. If the brackets on it were broken it was actually safer to remove it than drive it hanging loose With that said the worst thing to do during an inspection is having a peeing trst with the officer. I wasn’t there and won’t say who was rright or wrong. Just giving a semi well thought out opinion.

  • Michele

    I think it’s hard to pass judgement on anyone involved in this situation if you were not witness to the event. Too many people like to speculate and find blame or defend who they think is right. Lay people cannot even hope to understand all the regulations and laws that are enforced by the police and the dangers they face each day. Hopefully justice will be done to who ever is at fault and lead to this incident

  • ray

    Since when is no bumper a out of service violation i been driving 30 years and lost a few bumpers but never put out of service

  • tim

    Okay, all things aside but yourself in that officers shoes…Needless to say the truck driver shouldn’t have been on the road in the first place if the truck isn’t legally drivable. There were several violations that the person was getting ticketed for. If he didn’t get pulled over by this police officer it would have been another one. Now lets take a look at the situation here.. The officer was pepper sprayed, after he reached for his stun gun the truck driver struck him in the hand with a HAMMER..I don’t think there is a way for anyone here to justify on what that truck driver did.

  • Shawn

    You all can sit there and defend the truck driver but if that was you in the cops shoes you prolley would have done the same thing the cop was hit with a hammer who’s to say that if the officer wouldn’t have shot him that the trucker wouldn’t have killed the cop

  • Sissy

    Unless the fruit was hollowed out and filled with heroin, there was no reason to ruin this independent trucker’s life.

  • Ralph C.

    No, because I’m not dumb enough to exit my vehicle and try to fight a cop because he pulled me over.

    • AG

      Driver was not pulled over, he was already parked & outside inspecting his tires…with his hammer in hand. Witnessed from the TA Truck stop nearby. Seldomly is a driver asked to step outside…much less come out with a hammer. Since the Officer doesn’t get the story straight from the beginning, I don’t trust his judgement nor the rest of his cover up justifications. How many drivers out there can share your stories when it comes to the law getting cockier & power-abusing, It used to be that one could count on getting help from the authorities, there was something called a “Warning” before. All it is now-a-days is money-hungry, power-hungry pricks the public no longer trust.

  • Denny

    If I were that officer and got pepper sprayed and hit with a hammer. The man wouldn’t have been in the hospital. He would have been in the morgue. The hammer makes it attempted murder. At that point lethal force is not just justified it’s a requirement. Bumpers are required. If the man couldn’t afford a bumper what was the rest of the truck like? I drive truck, have for years and am sick and tired of seeing unsafe garbage run up and down the roads. Officer was justified, driver wasn’t. End of story.

  • rick

    What I was getting at mike is the punishment doesn’t fit the crime
    They are both violations is my point. But your not gonna impound a car for having an air freshener hanging from the mirror. ..

  • trucker

    Who said bumpers are cheap?? Not everyone has $700-1100 laying around for a bumper. Maybe he had one ordered. Maybe it was an insurance claim. I see cars all the time without bumpers.

    • Ralph C.

      If you can’t afford to maintain your truck, you should not be a truck driver. The truck would not pass inspection in PA and the officer had every right to pull him over.

  • veep

    If that truck was involved in an accident and the violations were noted in the article you would be all over the truck driver for these violations.

  • rick

    Missing a bumper on a vehicle is like having an air freshener hanging from the rear view mirror. … I mean come on impound the guys truck for that…smh….

    • Mike

      You are absolutely right! Except a bumper is a required safety feature that was installed at the factory, and an air freshener hanging from your rear view mirror just makes your car smell good. But other than that small difference you are spot on with comparing the two! Good job!

  • Joe

    I am a owner operator. I haul from Florida to Maine on a regular basis. I can make several round trips on numerous occasions without having to go into any scales. It can be months, or even years before I go throug any type of inspection. Level one or three. I keep my truck in working order and fix any problems before it goes on the road. It is not worth the hassle to drive a piece of junk down the road. You drive a piece of junk..you are goin to be noticed.

    • CrazyLarry (@Skyhawk442)

      Joe, just because his truck wasn’t good looking, you think it should be, get a life. People have to work with what they got, Police know this, this Officer was a screwball for Shooting, he has back up if needed. I don’t believe anything this Officer said.

    • Scott

      CrazyLarry, are you familiar with CFR regulations of the trucking industry and what safety requirements are necessary for a truck to be on the road? Regardless of the situation, if the driver was in violation of Federal Regulations it is necessary for him to be out of service until the truck is fixed and meets requirements in accordance with CFR regulations. When he was notified he was being put out of service it was his duty to comply, to get belligerent, and then attack the officer deemed it necessary for the officer to use force. I recently saw an 18 wheeler that made it from Maine to North Carolina before being stopped because it’s load was shifted, it was to the point that it could have fallen on a car that was to its right hand side at any time. What did the officers find when they put him out of service, he didn’t even have a license. He made it from Maine to North Carolina before he was stopped. The trucking industry is regulated for safety of others on the road, on average 39,000 people are killed on the roads in America. Going off 2010 statistics of Firearm deaths non-suicide of just over 11,000, you are nearly 4 times more likely to be killed on the road than you are to be shot. As a truck driver, I back the officer in his actions.

    • kay

      Do you REALLY think your CAR would pass inspection in PA without a BUMPER? I’m just a dumb blonde, but i’ve been in a few accidents, and it seems like IT SERVES A PURPOSE.

      • Francis Drake

        Kay not having a bumper is a fix it ticket truck car boat. The point is the cop did not pull the truck driver over for anything. The truck driver according to a local trucker was already parked on the off ramp conducting a walk around of his equipment and thumping his tires to check tire pressure and no local or state troopers were present. The cop showed up several minutes later. The cop did not pull the truck driver over period. That’s the red flag.

  • Chelsea

    I can’t believe people are actually hitting the thumbs down button on this comment. lol Fools.

  • LowCap

    I work in a plant loading and unloading tankers and box tractor trailers everyday. Most trucks are in dire disrepair and are a major hazard on the highways. The drivers and companies don’t care as long as they don’t get caught, and they get belligerent when you point out safety violations to them.

    • Lee Brau

      Most trucks are not in “dire disrepair”. If most of those you see at work are, perhaps your employer should find some reputable carriers to work with and pay the rate they ask instead of bargain hunting.

  • Skeptic

    Despite these other comments, I support the trooper considering the info currently available. Trucker got belligerent, resisted arrest, then attacked the cop with an incapacitating agent and a deadly weapon. If you’re that foolish, you deserve to get shot. Should the cop just allow a violent criminal to spray him and beat him to death with a hammer? If you had a gun and someone attacked you with a hammer, would you stand there and take the hits? I didn’t think so. Trucker should have accepted the fact that his truck was unfit for the road and taken the consequences. Attacking a cop with a hammer never ends well.

      • Skeptic

        How do YOU know what really happened? Because “cops are corrupt”? Because you got that speeding ticket that one time and think you shouldn’t have? Because you know someone who knows someone who’s uncle’s cousin got beat up by a cop while helping a little old lady cross the road? Because you only hear abut the bad apples and not the good ones? 99.99% of cops are great at what they do, yet people like you assume they’re all bad. This cop was attacked with a deadly weapon for DOING HIS JOB and taking an illegal truck off the road that could have killed you or your family. Question the silly details all you want, I still say he was right.

  • Mark

    Township police officers can patrol and enforce laws on anyway roadway that runs through their township. State police are just primary coverage on the interstate just as the township officer has primary coverage anywhere in the township. So all calls in the township go to the local department, and all calls on the interstate go to state police. They assist each other as needed. The local officer can enforce law on the interstate just as the state police can enforce law within the township. The only thing local police can’t do is set up speed details.

  • Greg

    No matter if it is the interstate or a back road, as long as he is in his township he can do a traffic stop. What you others are saying is that the State Police are the only ones who can provide law enforcement on the interstate?

    • Steve

      First. Not all state police are certified to inspect tractor trailers. Second. Both township and state police officers attended the exact same training to be certified if they so choose to attend the class.

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