A New Haven police officer who is facing charges in connection to a crash in Las Vegas that killed another officer last week has posted bail as the community mourns the loss of a member of the law enforcement community.
New Haven police officer Robert Ferraro, 34, posted bail and is expected to be released soon, jail records state.
Ferraro 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. He has since made bail and is due in court again tomorrow.
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As part of the conditions, 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.
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. on Friday. Police added that the car also flipped over several times after that.
Authorities said due to the impact, New Haven officer Joshua Castellano, 35, 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.
Castellano's family released a statement Monday afternoon:
"Amid our unimaginable heartbreak and grief over the tragic loss of Joshua, we are comforted by the overwhelming love and expressions of support from Joshua’s Police Officer family, his friends and the Yale community. Joshua’s life was a gift, and we are grateful that he could share part of it with his colleagues at the New Haven Police Department and with the countless community members he encountered while proudly serving on the police force. Joshua approached his life and work with unmatched passion and excitement, and his genuine love for people was infectious.
"We hope that others will honor Joshua’s memory by following his excellent example of selfless service to the community. As we pray for strength during this dark time, we will celebrate Joshua’s remarkable life and the light and joy he brought to our lives and the lives of so many."
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.
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.
Castellano was the passenger in a car with three other New Haven officers, including Ferraro, who was driving, officials said. Two women from San Antonio, Texas were also in the car, according to the accident report from the Las Vegas Police Department.
"The grief and the pain that the men and women of the police department are going through is that of a brother," Dominguez said.
“He was the glue that kept a lot of us together and I’m just waiting for him to reach out in our group text,” said longtime friend Wilbert Gonzalez-Torres, who jumped on a plane as soon as he heard the news of Castellano’s death.
“Naturally, initially you have anger, frustration. But right now, my only focus is really on Denise, on his mom, on what we can do to support her.”
The two met in high school and worked at Yale Sports Camp together, “Just a natural person who exuded tons of energy and positivity I mean the kids loved him, he was just phenomenal and that translated into his adult life, as well as a police officer.
Gonzalez-Torres says Castellano was on the trip for personal reasons, one of the officers was planning to ask Castellano to be his best man in his wedding.
The other passengers in the car and the driver of another car involved suffered minor injuries, police said.
“It’s very, very emotional, very challenging, but we also want to make sure we’re doing everything appropriate so that we hold people accountable as well. We need to do so as a compassionate way. Right now, I think we need to focus on supporting the family of Officer Castellano,” said Mayor Justin Elicker.
The Las Vegas Police Department continues to investigate the crash.