Man sues, saying A.C. police beat him
He had been ejected from a casino. He says officers assaulted him and a dog attacked him.
David Connor Castellani of Linwood says in a suit filed in federal court in Camden that he was beaten after being kicked out of a nightclub at the Tropicana Casino & Resort around 3 a.m. June 15. The legal filing acknowledges that he was drunk.
He said officers hit, clubbed, and kicked him, and a police dog mauled him as he lay on the ground with his hands cuffed.
No one was available to comment Tuesday at the Atlantic City Solicitor's Office. The complaint says six officers were in on the attack, but only two were listed by name - Sterling Wheaten and Darren Lorady. Wheaten did not return calls; Lorady could not be reached.
A Tropicana surveillance video provided by his family does not have sound, and parts are obscured by a police vehicle parked in the frame.
It shows Castellani talking, then a group of officers rushing at him and knocking him to the ground.
Castellani has his arms around one of the officers as he is felled, but it is not clear how much he resisted initially.
Officers can be seen hitting, kicking, and clubbing him, even as he appears to be still. In his legal complaint, he says he yelled "I'm not resisting" throughout the arrest.
Then a police truck pulls up and a dog is brought out. The animal appears to latch on to him around the neck while officers continue to kick and hit him.
He was charged with attempted assault on an officer, resisting arrest, and attempting to harm a police dog.
The younger Castellani is seeking to have those charges dropped, to receive undisclosed damages, and to have the officers removed.
"We want them terminated," David Castellani said. "It's a gruesome piece of police terror. The next time, they're going to kill somebody."