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Lawyer, spouse fail to win leniency for 11-time repeat felon

Castaneda

– Once, in an effort to avoid arrest, Vincent Castaneda held a 16-month-old toddler out of the window of a car and used the child as a human shield.

His efforts failed, and he served time in prison for resisting law enforcement and neglect of a dependent.

His last attempt to resist arrest – in March 2012 – netted him a 10-year prison sentence, handed down Friday in Allen County Superior Court.

In late August, a jury convicted Castaneda, 42, of disarming a law enforcement officer, resisting law enforcement using a vehicle and resisting law enforcement.

Castaneda was shot by police after he eluded officers with a vehicle reported stolen and then physically fought with them inside his kitchen.

After Fort Wayne police officer Jason Crowder used a stun gun to subdue him, Castaneda took the Taser from the officer. Crowder then shot Castaneda in the stomach with his handgun.

During Friday’s sentencing hearing, Castaneda’s attorney brought up his mental health issues, as well as a traumatic brain injury Castaneda suffered after being hit by a car in 2008.

His wife said that every time Castaneda fails to take his medication, “stuff like this happens.”

“People love Vincent when he’s on his medications,” she said.

But Allen County Deputy Prosecutor Jeff Stineburg filled in details about Castaneda’s two-state, multicounty criminal record, which includes 18 misdemeanors and 11 felonies.

“If he’s not in prison, he’s committing crimes,” Stineburg said, describing how Castaneda used his young son as a human shield, then tried to ram a police car with his own vehicle while the toddler was unrestrained inside.

“He has a complete disregard for anyone but himself,” Stineburg said.

In sentencing Castaneda, Judge Fran Gull found nothing to be considered in his favor, and she too detailed his numerous arrests stretching from the Chicago area east across Indiana.

She sentenced Castaneda to a total of 10 years in prison. She ordered him to pay $571 to the city of Fort Wayne for restitution.

Castaneda declined to speak during his sentencing hearing.

rgreen@jg.net

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