Atlantic City Mayor weighs in on alleged police beating
Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford has weighed in on a casino video allegedly showing a police officer releasing his K-9 on a subdued suspect, calling the video "horrifying."
David Castellani, the 20-year-old Linwood man captured in the video, claimed in a suit filed in federal court in Camden that five police officers hit, clubbed and kicked him after he was kicked out of a nightclub at the Tropicana Casino & Resort around 3 a.m. on June 15. During the assault, Castellani, who has admitted being drunk, claims a sixth officer let his police dog maul him as he lay on the ground with his hands cuffed.
Castellani was charged with attempted assault on an officer, resisting arrest, and attempting to harm a police dog. He is seeking to have those charges dropped, to receive undisclosed damages and to have the six officers removed.
In the video, officers can be seen hitting, kicking and clubbing Castellani, 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 be allowed to latch on to him around the neck while officers continue to kick and hit him.
“I want as many eyes and ears looking at this situation because it’s important to the public to believe that we are doing all that we can, must and should do to make sure we get to the bottom of this,” Langford told NBC10.
Last month, Langford asked both the State Attorney General's Office as well as the United States Department of Justice to help investigate the incident.
Castellani's father, David, said his son was hospitalized with injuries from the attack, and wants the police officers involved in the incident removed from the force.
"We want them terminated," David Castellani said. "It's a gruesome piece of police terror. The next time, they're going to kill somebody."
The Associated Press contributed to this story