ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A Salvadoran national who escaped from immigration authorities in northern Virginia earlier this year has pleaded guilty to assaulting an officer.

Twenty-eight-year-old Marlon Rivas-Mendez prompted a two-hour search back in July when he escaped from a stopped vehicle near Dulles International Airport.

At a plea hearing Friday in federal court in Alexandria, Rivas-Mendez admitted that he struck an officer in the chest and neck and ran off after complaining that his handcuffs were too tight.

Authorities say Rivas-Mendez had been deported to El Salvador three times prior to his arrest in July in Loudoun County on a public intoxication charge.

He faces up to eight years in prison, followed by another deportation, when he is sentenced next month.

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