NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Friends and family from across the state were at the Elm City on Friday to say goodbye to New Haven Police Officer Joshua Castellano.
Castellano, 35, was killed in a crash while off-duty in Las Vegas, Nevada last Friday. He was the front passenger in a 2020 Rolls-Royce with other New Haven officers and two women when the car lost control because of speed, hit another car, a utility pole, and then rolled over. Castellano was ejected from the car.
One of his good friends, Officer Robert Ferraro, also with The New Haven Police Department, was the driver. Ferraro has been charged with a felony DUI and death charge. He’s off house arrest and released from Nevada, now allowed to head back to Connecticut.
Castellano was a seven-year veteran of the police department, starting his career after graduating from The New Haven Police Academy in 2014.
Dozens of officers from different departments across the state showed up for the funeral on Friday morning. They came from Hamden, Branford, Waterbury, Stamford, Hartford and further away.
"When people are killed anyway, it’s just a sad thing but it is closer to us when it's law enforcement because we are a complete brotherhood," said Officer Carl Williams, a patrolman with The Norwalk Police Department.
"It doesn’t matter what part of the state or country you’re from, we’re all just out there putting our lives on the line every day," said Officer Kristen Fitzgerald with the North Branford Police Department. "And when someone loses it due to tragic circumstances, whether it’s in the line of duty or off duty, they’re still an officer and we’re here to support that."
Fitzgerald worked as an officer in New Haven for two decades. She knows how hard the job can be.
"I know that their manpower numbers are down. And they have to respond to a lot of things and you see a lot more in your career as an intercity officer than you do as a suburban officer," Fitzgerald said.
Castellano worked in the shooting task force before he died.
"You feel terrible. He’s a young man and it’s a loss for the community, for his family and for our community of blue," said Sgt. Daniel Zarebski, part of the Hartford Police Traffic Division.
The New Haven Police Department has offered several layers of support to its officers impacted by this. There were comfort dogs on hand at the services.
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