New Haven officer accused of causing DUI crash that killed friend, fellow cop, in Las Vegas is coming home, lawyer says

  • In US
  • 2021-09-23 16:08:00Z
  • By Hartford Courant

New Haven Officer Robert Ferraro, who was charged with causing a drunken driving crash in Las Vegas that killed his friend and fellow officer, Joshua Castellano, has been granted permission to come home to Connecticut, his lawyer said Thursday.

Attorney Gabriel L. Grasso said after his client's latest court appearance that Ferraro will be allowed to travel back and forth to Las Vegas for court. He is not allowed to drive, his passport will be taken from him and he will have to undergo random tests to prove he isn't drinking, Grasso said.

"He was allowed to be taken off of house arrest so he can travel to Connecticut and await the adjudication of his case at home," he said.

Grasso said the deadly crash was devastating for his client, who he said was close friends with Castellano for years.

"They are both excellent officers and it is a huge, huge, devastating loss that is being felt regardless of what ends up happening in this case," he said. "It is a huge loss for everyone - obviously the Castellano family - but it is just as devastating for Robert Ferraro to have lost his best friend."

"Based on my conversations with people, if you go to the New Haven Police Department, they were always together," Grasso said. "He lost a brother."

They and the other New Haven officers involved in the crash, Matthew Borges and John Truhart, were tight since they attended the police academy together and were on an annual trip that got interrupted by COVID-19 last year, he said.

"They were just here for the weekend to be tourists in Vegas," Grasso said.

There will be an Oct. 7 check in with court to make sure Ferraro is abiding by the rules, the lawyer said. After that, his next court date is in January.

Ferraro, 34, was in court Thursday for a status check of the criminal charges against him. Police charged him with reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol and/or a controlled or prohibited substance resulting in death, both felonies. Grasso said he wasn't aware of the reckless driving charge, however.

If found guilty, Ferraro faces a possible 2-20 years in prison, Grasso said.

Not long after Grasso spoke, hundreds of mourners are expected to stream into the West Haven Funeral Home for Castellano's wake. The wake is from 4-8 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial is planned for 10 a.m. Friday at St. Mary's Church, 5 Hillside Ave., New Haven, with burial to follow at Grove Street Cemetery.

Shortly before 4 a.m. Sept. 17, Ferraro was driving a luxury SUV with five passengers - three of them fellow New Haven officers - when he lost control. The 2020 Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV struck a car in a private driveway before flipping, throwing Castellano.

Ferraro is on leave from the New Haven Police Department while it works on an internal investigation.

Check back for details.

Courant staff writer Kaitlin McCallum contributed to this report.

Christine Dempsey may be reached at cdempsey@courant.com.


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