KNOX TOWNSHIP – A 35-year-old Olanta man, Dale E. Shaffer, has been accused of fleeing from a traffic stop Monday after assaulting a trooper and trying to disarm him.
Shaffer has been charged by Trooper Jared Wolff with felony aggravated assault and disarming a law enforcement officer through the office of Magisterial District Judge James Glass.
Shaffer has also been charged with misdemeanor endangering the welfare of children (two counts), simple assault and fleeing or attempting to elude an officer and one summary.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Trooper Nicholas Wissinger was conducting routine patrol in Knox Township. He attempted a traffic stop on a blue-colored Mazda sports utility vehicle after its Pennsylvania registration came back to a Honda.
The trooper pursued the SUV along Zion and Clark roads until it turned down a dirt gas well road next to a trailer, located at 1935 Clark Rd.
However, a natural barrier brought the pursuit to a stop. Both Wissinger and Shaffer exited their vehicles, and a physical altercation ensued.
Shaffer allegedly punched Wissinger several times in the head and tried to strangle him. During the assault, Shaffer grabbed the trooper’s duty weapon and tried to forcefully remove it from his holster, state police said.
Trooper Dennis Peters arrived at the scene and Wissinger provided details of the altercation to him in an interview. Peters requested an ambulance for Wissinger.
Shaffer had fled on foot prior to Peters’ arrival. At that time, it was discovered Shaffer had left two children – a two-year-old and a three-year-old – in car seats in the back of the SUV.
State police obtained an arrest warrant for Shaffer, and he was later taken into custody, according to a previous report. He was arraigned and lodged in county jail in lieu of $150,000 straight bail.