A prison escapee went from misdemeanor to felony charges in the blink of an eye after he stabbed a Bensalem police officer in the stomach in Bucks County Tuesday afternoon, Bensalem Public Safety Director Fred Harran said.
Less than an hour after receiving notification that 23-year-old Matthew Miller (pictured) had escaped from his Bucks County Prison work release program in Doylestown, he was spotted by officers in the area of Bristol Pike and Woodhaven Road in Bensalem around 1:30 p.m.
Officer Michael Jachimski, 38, quickly responded by stopping the prisoner.
Harran said Miller was almost handcuffed when he pulled out a knife and lunged at Jachimski, stabbing him in the abdomen. The officer's vest took the brunt of the knife wound and Jachimski was not injured. He tried to stun Miller, who then hopped into the officer's cruiser, a black and white Ford Explorer, and sped away, authorities say.
A short time later, the man jumped from the vehicle on Fairdale Drive and took off on foot.
He was apprehended about two miles away from the stabbing on a playground near an elementary school in Philadelphia, according to Harran.
Police officers eventually recovered the vehicle as well as the knife used in the assault, according to officials.
Can't believe the guy that stabbed the officer came up to me and was yelling at me where he could hide. Hope the cop is alright! #thankful
— LindseyAnn (@lynzee_rodgers) June 10, 2014
No children were hurt in the incident, and the officer was taken to a local hospital where he was examined and released without injury.
"This is just another great story of how a bulletproof vest, from not a bullet, but a knife, saved a life," Harran said in a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
Miller was arraigned Tuesday night and charged with attempted murder as well as other related offenses.
"He was in originally on a variety of theft charges," said Harran. "So he went from misdemeanors to attempted homicide on a police officer."
Miller was sent to the Bucks County Correctional Facility in lieu of $5 million. He is due in court for a preliminary on June 25.
Jachimski, who is the survivor of a fiery crash in our area just four years ago, is a six-year veteran of the Bensalem Police Department. He also spent four years as a member of the Philadelphia PD.
Officials say he is in good spirits and expected to return to work soon.