Daniel Danny Catalan, owner of the Dessert Bar in Flagler Beach and a resident of Cedar Lane there and Palmwood Drive in Palm Coast, today was sentenced to 6 months in jail followed by four years’ probation, along with a series of other requirements, on two felony and one misdemeanor charge stemming from a combined three arrests for successive incidents that stretched over six months.
His last arrest was in late February, when he was jailed on a charge of making written threats to kill against a former employee he’d just fired. A domestic battery charge, in which his wife was the victim, was dropped in exchange for a guilty plea Catalan tendered before Circuit Judge Terence Perkins in Flagler County court this afternoon. Catalan, 41, appeared by video link from the county jail, with his attorney, Josh Davis, at his side. Catalan has already served 69 days in jail. That time will be credited to his sentence.
Facing third and second degree felonies, Catalan was exposed to up to 20 years in prison, so the plea deal, sparing him state prison time, was lenient. The prosecutor said all victims agreed with it.
Catalan was arrested last August on aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest charges when he pointed a gun with a red scope against the head of a friend of his daughter’s, who had been watching television with him and her younger brother in her bedroom, with the door open. He was again arrested last November on a domestic battery charge after an altercation with his 16-year-old daughter–he’d called 911 asking if he could legally spank her–and his wife. That charge was dropped as part of the plea agreement.
Catalan is required to have a substance abuse evaluation and treatment, if recommended, a mental health evaluation with treatment if recommended, no consumption of drugs or alcohol and submission to random urinalysis, attending an anger management class and a parenting class, have no contact with the victims, no unsupervised contacts with minors who are not his biological children, and no violent contact with his wife. Perkins asked Catalan a series of questions to ensure he understood the sentence. Catalan, who says he holds a master’s degree, metronomically answered the judge with “yes, your honor,” and “no, your honor.”
One of his victims initially wanted to be present at sentencing, Assistant State Prosecutor Melissa Clark said. She was not present when the sentencing hearing began. It was delayed to give her time to log on. “I don’t want to rush that, if the victim wants to be present, even if the victim wants to say something,” Perkins said. He was willing to delay the sentencing hearing to later this week or next week. The victim later made contact with Assistant State Attorney Melissa Clark and declined to be on after all.
The matter of Catalan’s guns came up. “He doesn’t have any more firearms that are his,” Davis said. “All of his firearms have been gotten rid of, so you won’t find any registered to Mr. Catalan.” He went on: “I have told him for a long time now that he needs to have no guns around him, with him, anywhere close to him, and now since he’ll be a convicted felon, he’s not allowed to have them. So all the guns are gone.”
“I guess I just assumed that the guns were seized, the gun was seized. It wasn’t?” the judge asked in reference to the incident where Catalan pointed the gun at his daughter’s boyfriend.
“I don’t believe they have it anymore judge, I think everything was picked up,” Davis said. “Of course if it’s still in evidence somewhere, then of course we’ll forfeit. But I don’t think that’s the case.” But weapons aren’t released without the court’s knowledge.
“OK. I guess I’m surprised they’d release it without us knowing that,” the judge said.
“I don’t know if it was taken into evidence or not, judge,” Clark said. The attorneys, essentially had no idea whether the gun in question, which should have been seized at the time of the offense, given its nature, had in fact been seized. There is no record of it being take into evidence in the arrest report at the time of the incident.