The Aspen man who was hit twice by a stun gun fired by a sheriff’s deputy in a 2016 incident, including once while handcuffed, is expected to plead guilty today to a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest.
The case drew the scrutiny of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for possible excessive use of force by the deputy, and a five-day jury trial next week for Reese Castiglioni, 31, had been scheduled. Plea-agreement paperwork filed Monday show he is also to plead guilty to careless driving. Charges of misdemeanor assault and DUI are to be dismissed.
Castiglioni was initially facing a felony charge of assault on a police officer after the June 18, 2016, fracas with authorities outside his Burlingame home. But a prosecutor only filed the misdemeanor counts.
Police investigating a report of drunken driving near Buttermilk eventually tracked Castiglioni to his home around 10 p.m., where he told a deputy that he had been sleeping. His girlfriend, however, told deputy Ryan Voss that they had gotten into an argument after both had been drinking earlier that day at the Food and Wine Festival, a police report says.
Castiglioni, who was highly intoxicated, soon became uncooperative as he spoke to Voss, who called for backup, the report says.
Deputy Dustin Gray tried to arrest the defendant after he cursed at them and attempted to go back in his home. The girlfriend then jumped on Voss’ back as the situation became “extremely chaotic,” Gray wrote.
Gray pulled the woman off his colleague’s back, but Castiglioni lunged at Voss, and the two tumbled into a small, rocky ditch. When he refused commands to stop resisting and elbowed Voss in the head, Gray stunned him in the back with a Taser. After being handcuffed, Castiglioni allegedly continued to struggle and kicked Voss, leading Gray to deploy the Taser again.
Arriving just then on scene, then-deputy Ryan Turner, who is now with the Aspen Police Department, and Aspen police officer Adriano Minniti felt that, because Castiglioni was restrained, they needed to report to supervisors that Gray might have used excessive force. Police are required by law to make such reports, Turner said Thursday, declining further comment.
Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo called in the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, which cleared Gray of wrongdoing in July 2016. It was only the fourth time a deputy had used a Taser since deputies started carrying them around 2001.
Castiglioni pleaded not guilty in May. His girlfriend pleaded guilty in February 2017 to misdemeanor assault. She received and successfully completed a one-year deferred sentence, meaning it does not appear on her record, according to court records.
Because Castiglioni’s plea deal had yet to be finalized, his attorney, Beth Krulewitch of Aspen, and the DA’s office both declined to comment this week.