Taunton police stabbing suspect ordered held without bail

TAUNTON- A Lakeville resident charged with stabbing five Taunton police officers was ordered held without bail at the Bristol County House of Correction during a dangerousness hearing at Taunton District Court on Oct. 17.

Judge Michael Brennan also ordered Douglas Hagerty, 35, to attend a pre-trial conference hearing on Nov. 15.

Hagerty is awaiting trial for armed assault with intent to murder, three counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, two counts of malicious damage to a motor vehicle, failure to stop for police, reckless operation of a motor vehicle and resisting arrest from an incident that occurred on Sept. 26.

Greg Miliote, spokesman for the Bristol County District Attorney's office, said prosecutors are pleased with Brennan’s ruling.

“It was clearly our position he was dangerous and should be held without bail,” Miliote said.

Hagerty pleaded not guilty to the prosecutor's charges against him during the arraignment.

Judge Michael Brennan orders Lakeville resident Douglas Hagerty, 35, held without bail following a dangerousness hearing at Taunton District Court.
Judge Michael Brennan orders Lakeville resident Douglas Hagerty, 35, held without bail following a dangerousness hearing at Taunton District Court.

Miliote said Brennan ordered Hagerty to undergo a 20-day competency evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital following his court arraignment on Sept. 27.

“He was found to be competent,” Miliote said.

The mental health evaluation of Hagerty was requested by clinical psychologist J. Arthur Pearson during a court hearing shortly after the arrangement session.

Pearson told court officials that Hagerty “demonstrated a sufficient understanding of the court's trial process, spoke intelligently about the trial process, and expressed conspiracy ideas about a flat Earth and keeping the real truth from the general public” during the alleged (stabbing) event.”

What happened on evening of stabbings

Police said in a written statement that the stabbings of the officers occurred at approximately 6:40 p.m. on Sept. 26 after they pulled a vehicle over for a moving violation in the area of 716 County St.

According to police, the driver was cooperative with officers, and a second motorist, later identified as Hagerty, who was not affiliated with the stopped driver, pulled alongside and began to shout at the officers.

Hagerty then drove quickly away from the scene in a 2010 gray Honda Accord, police said. Police did not pursue him at that time. A short time later, another Taunton police officer on patrol in the area observed the Honda allegedly being operated in an unsafe and reckless manner on County Street. The officer initiated a traffic stop, and Hagerty stopped his vehicle. However, during the traffic stop, Hagerty allegedly sped off, nearly striking the officer with his car, the statement said.

During the subsequent pursuit, Hagerty drove directly at a marked Taunton police cruiser and struck another cruiser in the area of Cherry Street, police said. Officers pursued Hagerty until he crashed the vehicle into an entryway of a multi-family home on West Britannia Street owned by a relative of Hagerty's, at which point he ran into the building, police said. As officers followed Hagerty inside, he allegedly pulled out a knife and began waving it at officers, resulting in slashing wounds to two officers, the statement said.

Mayor Shaunna O'Connell listened to Taunton Police Chief Edward Walsh  during a Sept. 26 press conference as he describes the stabbings of five police officers.
Mayor Shaunna O'Connell listened to Taunton Police Chief Edward Walsh during a Sept. 26 press conference as he describes the stabbings of five police officers.

Police Chief Edward Walsh, who lives nearby, responded to the scene from his home along with several other officers who established a perimeter, the statement said. While officers tried to apprehend Hagerty, he allegedly swung his knife at Walsh as officers entered the room, resulting in a puncture wound to the chief's abdomen, the statement said. Walsh told the Gazette that the knife deflected off something, and the chief said he ended up with just a minor cut.

At that point, the chief said he "tased" the suspect, which incapacitated him, and he was placed in custody. Walsh said the suspect was also transported to the hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries.

According to Walsh, Haggerty was known to police departments in the area.

This article originally appeared on The Taunton Daily Gazette: Taunton police stabbing suspect Douglas Hagerty to be held without bail