LANCASTER COUNTY — Police have identified the man accused of pointing a handgun at officers who were pursuing his vehicle across East and West Hempfield Townships after a suspected domestic incident last Friday.
Austin M. Hougendobler, 22, was charged with 12 offenses as a result of the incident, including four counts of felony aggravated assault. Police say they used a Taser device in an attempt to subdue Hougendobler, who was apprehended in a business parking lot on Indian Springs Drive.
Hougendobler was released from an area hospital on Sunday and taken into police custody. He was arraigned on the charges and released from Lancaster County Prison after posting bail, which was set at $500,000. Hougendobler was hospitalized for treatment of a head injury sustained when he fell to the ground after the Taser device was used on him, police say.
The incident started Friday about noon when a woman in the truck, driven by Hougendobler, called 911 and reported Hougendobler had assaulted her and threatened her with a gun. Hougendobler also took the woman’s cellphone as she initially tried to call 911; she then called 911 on a second cellphone, police say.
A one-year-old child also was in the truck. The child was not injured in the incident.
Hougendobler eventually travelled west on Route 30, exited onto Stony Battery Road and was followed there by police who activated lights and sirens in attempts to stop the truck. Hougendobler kept driving, turning into the business lot in the 700 block of Indian Springs Drive.
There, the woman was able to get out of the vehicle. As she exited, Hougendobler reversed the truck, with the passenger door open, and nearly struck the woman.
Hougendobler backed up the truck to a curb, and a police cruiser then pulled into the front of the truck to stop it from moving.
At that point, Hougendobler got out of the truck, in an aggressive manner, and shouted at police officers from West Hempfield and East Hempfield Township departments. Police made repeated commands for Hougendobler to comply and be taken into custody. Hougendobler then reached into his waistband for the pistol. Officers on scene were aware Hougendobler was armed due to information from the 911 call.
Hougendobler pulled the pistol and was hit with the Taser. The gun dropped onto the truck’s hood and Hougendobler fell backward onto the pavement.
He was then taken into custody, police say.