LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Investigators believe a rented Rolls Royce went airborne before crashing, killing a Connecticut police officer who was visiting Las Vegas with several other officers, documents obtained by the I-Team said.
Robert Ferraro, 34, of East Haven, Connecticut, is facing a charge of DUI resulting in death and reckless driving in connection with the crash, which was reported just before 4 a.m. last Friday.
Metro police said the New Haven police officer was drunk when he lost control near Decatur Boulevard and Spring Mountain Road. The Rolls Royce collided with a car that was waiting in a private driveway to enter the road. The Rolls Royce then collided with several utility poles, trees and a fire hydrant.
The car rolled, killing 35-year-old officer Joshua Castellano, who was in the front passenger seat, police said. Ferraro and Castellano were on vacation along with two other officers.
The first person to call 911 said that the Rolls Royce had hit a building and that several people were attempting CPR on Castellano, who was taken to a hospital where he died, police said.
A Metro patrol officer noted Ferraro “had watery eyes and a strong odor of an unknown alcoholic beverage emitting from his breath and person,” an arrest report said.
Ferraro refused a field sobriety test, police said. Police obtained a warrant and completed two blood draws, which is standard protocol. Investigators were waiting on those results to determine Ferraro’s blood-alcohol level as of Thursday.
Ferraro and the four other passengers in the car all suffered minor injures in the crash, police said.
Police said the Rolls Royce entered the intersection “at a high rate of speed,” causing its suspension to bottom out, “sending sparks flying from the undercarriage.”
Police said the SUV traveled about 450 feet over the course of the incident. No passengers were wearing seat belts, police said.
A judge on Thursday allowed Ferraro to return to Connecticut as he awaits trial.
“They were the Starsky and Hutch type, you know, cops that were always together,” Ferraro’s attorney, Gabriel Grasso, said. “This is not a bad cop situation. This is a tragic situation where he lost his best friend, partner, brother, however you want to put it, so he’s devasted.”
Ferraro has been placed on administrative leave while the New Haven Police Department conducts its own investigation.