ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — A man who rammed a stolen truck into the patrol car of an Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office deputy in January 2020 was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty.
The 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office said Diego Gallegos Castorena, 24, pleaded guilty on March 8 to second-degree assault, and his other charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement.
> Video above from January 2020: Car theft suspect shot in Arapahoe County, another suspect still on the run.
“You don’t get to ram a patrol car and injure a deputy and then just walk away,” said District Attorney John Kellner. “This defendant chose to commit a crime and then, rather than surrender, he made things worse when deputies tried to apprehend him. This just shows the dangers law enforcement officers face every day to uphold the law, even when responding to what some claim are ‘low-level offenses.’”
Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office (ACSO) deputies found what appeared to be a truck stalled in traffic at about 3:20 a.m. on Jan. 22, 2020, in the area of South Parker Road and East Fremont Avenue, according to ACSO. The truck had been reported stolen out of Denver, ACSO said.
Deputies learned that another stolen vehicle, a Chevrolet Silverado, would be arriving. When that vehicle arrived, deputies blocked it in and attempted to detain the people in it. The driver, identified as Castorena, rammed the Silverado into a deputy's vehicle, causing the deputy "serious bodily injury," according to the DA's Office decision letter on the officer-involved shooting.
Another deputy fired eight shots at Castorena, hitting him three times, according to the decision letter.
“Mr. Gallegos[Castorena] stated he did not know that he hit a peace officer and felt bad about it,” the decision letter reads. “Mr. Gallegos expressed remorse for the trouble he caused. During the interview, Mr. Gallegos pointed to where he was shot in the arm and said that he may have earned that.”
The injured deputy was treated at a hospital and released. Gallegos was also taken to a hospital.
Castorena had been facing the following charges:
- First-degree assault on a peace officer
- Second-degree assault on a peace officer
- Second-degree assault on a peace officer (causing injury with a deadly weapon)
- Attempted second-degree assault on a peace officer
- Attempted second-degree assault on a peace officer (causing injuring with a deadly weapon)
- Vehicular eluding
- First-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft.
The DA's Office cleared the deputy who shot Castorena.
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