ACI inmate accused of attacking officer ordered held on assault charges

West Bay

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — An ACI inmate serving a life sentence is now facing assault charges after allegedly attacking a correctional officer over the weekend.

David Catalano, 40, is charged with assaulting a correctional officer, assault with intent to commit a felony and disorderly conduct.

Prosecutors said the officer was overseeing inmates eating breakfast prior to the attack.

Catalano was returning his tray for cleaning and, according to prosecutors, deliberately bumped into the officer, who in turn asked if Catalano had a problem.

David Catalano hangs his head in court as a state police investigator reads the narrative of his attack on a correctional officer.

Without warning, Catalano allegedly put down his tray, grabbed a pen from his shirt pocket and ran toward the officer, swinging the pen in a stabbing motion and hitting the top of the officer’s head several times.

Prosecutors said the officer tried to restrain Catalano’s arms as he tried to gouge his eyes. During the attack, Catalano allegedly yelled that he was going to tear the officer’s “(expletive) eyes out.”

Multiple officers responded for backup, eventually joining the scuffle in an attempt to pry Catalano off of the officer.

Prosecutors said the officers ended up pepper-spraying Catalano before hauling him to a secure area.

The officer was treated at Kent County Hospital for cuts to the areas around his eyes and received staples to patch up his head.

The judge ordered Catalano held on a $25,000 bond with surety. He will return to court Jan. 15 for an arraignment.

Catalano is currently serving a life sentence at the ACI for his involvement in a deadly hit-and-run in 2009, during which he shot a North Kingstown officer who was trying to arrest him.

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