Olanta man pleads to fleeing, hitting cop

CLEARFIELD — An Olanta man accused of a fleeing from police and then assaulting a trooper in Clearfield County has pleaded guilty to those charges.

Dale Edward Shaffer, 35, was charged with aggravated assault, disarming a law enforcement officer, two counts of endangering the welfare of children, simple assault, fleeing or attempting to elude police and harassment after an incident in Olanta on April 30.

On Monday afternoon, Shaffer’s guilty plea to all charges was put on the record before Judge Fredric J. Ammerman. Shaffer also is pleading guilty in a second case, for which he is charged with driving under the influence.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, a state trooper was patrolling in Knox Township, Clearfield County, when he saw a blue Mazda with a registration assigned to a different vehicle. The trooper attempted a traffic stop and began to pursue the vehicle.

The Mazda did not stop, and the trooper followed it until it came upon a natural barrier that blocked the road. When the vehicle stopped, both drivers left their vehicles.

The Mazda’s driver, identified as Shaffer, allegedly punched the officer several times and then attempted to strangle him.

During the altercation, Shaffer reportedly grabbed the officer’s firearm and tried to remove it from its holster.

Shaffer said, “Give me your gun,” repeatedly, according to the complaint, before fleeing the scene.

When a second trooper arrived, he called an ambulance for the first officer.

They discovered Shaffer had left two small children in the vehicle in their car seats.

A state police helicopter aided in the search for Shaffer.

Shaffer has been incarcerated since the incident in lieu of $150,000 bail. He will be sentenced within 60 days.