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Man jailed over chase, assault on police officer

A Stafford County man who rammed a deputy’s cruiser while trying to elude a traffic stop last year was ordered Tuesday to serve two years and three months in prison.

Jose Silvestre Catalan, 34, pleaded guilty in Stafford Circuit Court to assault on a law enforcement officer, eluding, refusing to take a breath test and driving while intoxicated, third offense. He was sentenced to a total of 16 years, but most of it was suspended.

Police initially thought Catalan had five prior drunken-driving convictions, but a more thorough check of records from California showed he had only two. Catalan also was initially charged with attempted capital murder, but that charge and others were either reduced or dropped.

According to the evidence presented by prosecutor George Elsasser, Catalan was driving 65 mph in a 45 mph zone when he passed Deputy M.R. Flick on U.S. 1 near the Hidden Valley 7–Eleven.

Flick attempted to stop the southbound vehicle, but the driver would not stop.

Several more deputies had joined in the pursuit as it neared the Stafford Wayside area. When the deputies boxed the fleeing vehicle in, Catalan rammed Flick before making a U-turn and heading back north.

He ended up on Munsons Hill Court, where he bailed out of the car and ran. He was subdued with a stun device after his path was blocked by a wooden fence.

Catalan, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, was also ordered to pay $1,000 in restitution to the Sheriff’s Office.

The Immigration and Custom Enforcement has paperwork on Catalan and could deport him once his prison time is completed.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404