NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A procession was held Tuesday for New Haven police officer Joshua Castellano, who was killed in a crash in Las Vegas last week.
Officer Castellano was in a Rolls-Royce driven by fellow New Haven police officer Robert Ferraro when Ferraro got into a crash, which ejected Castellano. Ferraro was later arrested for drunk driving.
The death of 35-year-old Castellano has been ruled an accident. The coroner said he died of multiple blunt force injuries.
On Tuesday, a casket carrying Castellano’s body arrived at Bradley International Airport just after noon where he was received by the New Have Police Chief, members of the department, and state police. They began the journey down to the police department where dozens of officers stood at attention to salute Castellano one last time.
As the procession made its way down I-91 from Bradley to New Haven, police and fire departments from across the state waited along the bridges and byways to offer a final salute.
His childhood friends describe Castellano as a police officer who on top of serving his community in uniform, loved volunteering his time, especially to help kids and young people.
“Josh was our brother. Everyone sad it, his passion for life. Our life was better because he was in it,” said Brian Cacace.
“I remember building shoebox boats as a little kid and sailing them down the river, putting dollar bills in them for people to find our treasure. One of those stupid little things that kids do,” said Justin Dodge.
Whether it was the neighborhood kids who he joined for a game of pickup basketball or the community where according to colleagues he served with passion and compassion, Castellano’s mission was to bring joy to those around him.
“The model police officer. The type of person that whenever he was involved in something and no matter what type of call he was sent on, I knew he was going to handle it with professionalism, with integrity, with dignity. That is a true loss for the department,” said Assitant Chief Anthony Campbell.
Former New Haven Police Chief Anthony Campbell now serves at Yale University, where Castellano’s mother has worked for the better part of four decades.
“She raised a good man, she raised a good son, and we thank her for sharing her son with us, for his service to the New Haven Police Department,” Campbell said.
Calling hours for officer Castellano will be held Thursday at the West Haven Funeral Home. His funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven.
In a statement to News 8, Castellano’s family said,
“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.”
Ferraro’s bail has been set at $100,000. Ferraro’s bail conditions include staying out of trouble, no alcohol, no driving. He will also be put on high-level electronic monitoring.
Ferraro is due back in court on Thursday, Sept. 23.