AURORA | A man who rammed into an Arapahoe County sheriff’s deputy in front of an apartment complex on the border between Aurora and Centennial last year has been sentenced to a decade in state prison.
An Arapahoe County District Court judge this week sentenced Diego Gallegos Castorena to 10 years behind bars in connection to a chaotic encounter in the parking lot of the Cornerstar Ranch Apartments in January 2020, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
Castorena pleaded guilty to a single count of second-degree assault as part of a plea agreement earlier this year in exchange for seven other counts getting dismissed.
Both uniformed and undercover sheriff’s deputies tried to arrest Castorena the evening of Jan. 22, 2020 after learning that he was likely going to be selling drugs in the area, according to court documents.
Deputies parked immediately in front of Castorena’s car, a stolen Chevy Silverado, in the parking lot near South Chambers Road and South Parker Road.
But Castorena did not heed commands to exit his truck. He instead accelerated and rammed into one of the nearby sheriff’s office vehicles, pinning a sheriff’s deputy against another car in the process. The deputy was seriously injured in the encounter.
Another deputy then fired eight rounds at Castorena using a Glock 34 pistol, striking him three times: two rounds grazed his head and chest, and a third penetrated his arm. He was then taken into custody.
Prosecutors later determined that the deputy’s decision to shoot Castorena was legally sound.
“This defendant not only broke numerous laws, but he also chose to endanger the lives of law enforcement officers,” Deputy District Attorney Taylor McCreary said in a statement. “One deputy was seriously injured; the other saw what happened to his partner and was forced to act.”
Acquaintances later told authorities that Castorena regularly stole trucks and sold methamphetamine, and that he was believed to be associated with a cartel, according to court records.
Castorena remains jailed at the Arapahoe County detention center in Centennial. He has additional court dates in multiple other cases scheduled later this month.
“You don’t get to ram a patrol car and injure a deputy and then just walk away,” District Attorney John Kellner said in a statement.