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Douglas Hagerty, man accused of attacking Taunton police officers, ordered to undergo mental health evaluation

Man accused of stabbing Taunton police officers appears in court
Man accused of stabbing Taunton police officers appears in court 02:51

TAUNTON – Douglas Hagerty, the man accused of a brutal attack on several Taunton police officers, briefly appeared in court Wednesday and was ordered held without bail while he undergoes a mental health evaluation. 

Five police officers, including the Taunton police chief, were hurt Tuesday night by a knife-wielding suspect they say was later identified as Hagerty.

"An officer could have died last night; a suspect could have died last night and that didn't happen," Taunton Police Chief Ed Walsh said. 

Police said Hagerty pulled up as officers were performing a traffic stop around 6:45 p.m. on County Street. They say he was told to leave, and a short time later was seen driving erratically.

Hagerty allegedly sped away from police, tried to hit an officer and then crashed into a home on West Britannia Street before running inside. Police chased Hagerty into the house, which is owned by one of his relatives. 

Douglas Hagerty in Taunton District Court, Sept. 27, 2023. CBS Boston

According to police, Hagerty pulled out a knife, began waving it, and then slashed two officers. Chief Ed Walsh, who lives nearby, responded and was subsequently stabbed in the torso.

"The suspect tried stabbing me with a kitchen steak knife," Walsh said. "There was a slight penetration of my body as it was going in, but the blade broke off the handle and it didn't fully penetrate."

Walsh used his electronic stun gun to subdue and arrest Hagerty. Walsh was treated and released at Morton Hospital and returned to the scene later in the evening to brief members of the media.

Taunton Police said a total of five officers, including Walsh, were treated for injuries.

One of the officers had serious slash wounds to their neck, face and back. He was taken by medical helicopter to a Boston hospital. A second officer had knife wounds to his arm and two others were treated at an area hospital. 

"Watching what can happen in a split second," Walsh said. "An officer walked in, and a person started stabbing him with a knife. It was instantaneous."

A neighbor named Susan said the officer who was stabbed in the face was put in the back of a cruiser and taken to the hospital. "To know someone that dangerous is right next door is troublesome," Susan said. "I give officers credit for how they handled everything." 

Hagerty was known to police prior to the incident.  

The 35-year-old from Taunton is facing several charges, including three counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and one count of armed assault with intent to murder.

"My brother is schizophrenic, the cops were antagonizing him and he had enough so he had an episode," said Hagerty's stepbrother, David. 

Hagerty will be sent to Bridgewater State Hospital for 20 days for an evaluation on his criminal responsibility.

"He needs mental health treatment, needs to go somewhere where they can help him find himself," David said. 

He is currently scheduled to appear in court on October 17 for a dangerousness hearing.

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