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TRR photo by Tom Kane
Richard Castellano is pictured in Tusten Town Court Friday as Trooper Ben Johnson applied handcuffs. (Click for larger image)
Castellano arrested on three felonies

By TOM KANE

NARROWSBURG - Actor Richard Castellano was arrested at a Tusten Court appearance Friday and escorted to jail by state police.

Castellano, who appeared in the movie "Analyze This" with Robert DeNiro, was remanded to the Sullivan County Jail and charged with three felony counts of grand larceny in the fourth degree. Bail was set by Tusten Town Justice Ralph Huebner at $25,000.

The charges that led to Castellano's arrest arose from promises to provide waivers for submission for a Screen Actors Guild card for Carmen Surace, Matthew Nelson and Armondo Bilancione in exchange for money. The complainants never got the card and Castellano allegedly spent the money.

Sullivan County District Attorney Stephen Lungen said that there were more charges possible against Castellano. "We are waiting for potential victims to come forward," Lungen said.

"It's unfair what's happening here," Castellano said during his court appearance.

Justice Ralph Huebner said Castellano has 16 civil cases for non-payment of debts pending against him in Tusten: 14 by members of the camera crew that worked on his movie "Four Deadly Reasons," another by former owners of the Chatterbox Restaurant Jim and Janet Syre and Deb Ireland, his previous attorney.

Those cases were scheduled for Wednesday, August 23 at 10:00 a.m. in Tusten.

Castellano also faces several criminal charges. He must appear Friday, August 25 at 10:00 a.m. in the Tusten Town Court for an alleged assault on Robert Schaffer, a Narrowsburg resident. Castellano has another criminal case in the Village of Monticello Court for a bounced check to Budget Rent-a-Car.

Still another criminal case is pending regarding bounced checks given to John Borg, a Narrowsburg chicken farmer. Castellano allegedly has only repaid $5,570 out of a debt of $150,000.

"He's a con artist," Borg said. "I gave him all my savings."

Assistant District Attorney Robert Zangler addressed Justice Huebner in Tusten Town court, saying, "The county is asking for $25,000 bail, your honor, because of money owed to so many people in the community and because he did not show at the court hearing last week."

Judge Huebner said he agreed with the assistant district attorney's request because there was a danger Castellano would flee. Huebner said Castellano owns nothing in the town, rents his house and leases his vehicle.

Castellano claimed he was assaulted by two men in his driveway late at night on Wednesday before the court appearance and had to be tended by a doctor in New York City. He was an hour late for his Tusten court appearance because he was at the City of Middletown Court responding to charges that a phone bill was not paid. Castellano claimed he had paid the bill and the phone company made a mistake. "The Middletown judge adjourned the case in contemplation of a dismissal," said his attorney, Steven Vegliante of Woodridge. Vegliante explained that the court would dismiss after six months if he didn't renege on any future payments.

Vegliante told the court that Castellano was asking for assistance from Legal Aid since Vegliante was not a trial lawyer and Castellano did not have the money to pay for one.

Castellano will remain in the county jail until a bail bond company agrees to pay his bail, Huebner said. Castellano was still in jail at the time of publication.

 
 
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