Police in New Haven are mourning the loss of one of their officers after he was killed in a car crash in Las Vegas Friday, Sept. 17, and a second officer who was driving the car appeared in court on Saturday to face charges related to the crash.
According to Las Vegas investigators, witnesses in the area saw a 2020 Rolls-Royce speeding down a Las Vegas street before it crashed into another car, utility poles and a fire hydrant around 4 a.m. Police added that the car also flipped over several times after that.
Authorities said due to the impact, New Haven officer Joshua Castellano was ejected from the car and was given life-saving measures at the scene. He was then taken to the hospital, but later died from his injuries, they added.
On Saturday, New Haven Police Chief Renee Dominguez said Castellano was a seven year veteran and was hired in July of 2014. She said when he was in the police academy, everyone knew he had something that wasn't teachable.
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Dominguez remembered Castellano as being a man who came to work every day happy to be there, did his job with passion, was compassionate and was the whole package.
She said he worked very hard and everyone had a story about him. Most recently, Castellano was assigned to the shooting task force. Before that he was in the Hill District and before that, the Westville district.
"The grief and the pain that the men and women of the police department are going through is that of a brother," Dominguez said.
Castellano was the passenger in a car with three other New Haven officers, including officer Robert Ferraro, who was driving, officials said.
Las Vegas Police said Ferraro, 34, showed signs of impairment after the crash. He was arrested and is facing charges including DUI of alcohol and/or controlled or prohibited substance resulting in death and reckless driving, according to Nevada court records.
Ferraro appeared in court in Las Vegas on Saturday where court records show his bail was reset to $100,000. As part of the conditions if he makes bail, Ferraro must stay out of trouble and is not allowed to have alcohol or drive, court records show. He must also submit to electronic monitoring.
Ferraro will appear in court again on Sept. 21.
The other passengers in the car and the driver of another car involved suffered minor injuries, police said.
New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker released this statement:
“My thoughts and condolences are with the family of Officer Castellano as well as his friends and colleagues at the New Haven Police Department,” said Mayor Justin Elicker in a statement. “Officer Castellano served our community for seven years. We’re thankful for Officer Castellano’s service; he will be greatly missed.”
The Las Vegas Police Department continues to investigate the crash.