A driver for a private sanitation company was arraigned at Brooklyn Criminal Court on the charge of operating a motor vehicle under the influence on June 10, the day after he was arrested after allegedly side-swiping and crashing into several cars outside a 60th Street apartment complex in Mapleton.
Police say the driver — Anthony Castaldo, who lives in Flatlands — was driving a truck for the Bensonhurst-based Viking Sanitation company down 60th Street between 18th and 19th avenues just before 5:30 am when he allegedly crashed into several cars and a pile of fallen trees just steps from the entrance of the residential building, according to the spokeswoman from the district attorney’s office.
Castaldo allegedly showed signs of intoxication at the scene, including slurring his speech, smelling of alcohol, and walking with an unsteady gait, the spokeswoman said.
And once a police officer arrived on the scene and asked Castaldo if he had been driving, Castaldo allegedly pushed him away and fled on foot, prompting the officer to pursue him and fall — bruising his hands and arms — police said, adding that the officer eventually caught Castaldo by using a Taser.
Castaldo allegedly admitted guilt, according to the spokeswoman from the district attorney’s office, allegedly telling the police officer, “I’m sorry, I was driving and I fell asleep.”
Emergency medical personnel then transported both Castaldo and the officer to Maimonides Hospital, where Castaldo was in stable condition and the officer was treated for his minor injuries.
A rep for Viking Sanitation said the company prioritizes safety and has suspended Castaldo as part of its probe into what went down.
“Our company has a long track record of safety and we hold ourselves to high standards, including random drug testing for drivers,” the spokesman said. “It appears that this driver failed to adhere to our standards and he was immediately suspended as part of the ongoing investigation of this serious incident.”
The private sanitation industry has a history of trouble in the city. Drivers of private sanitation trucks killed seven people citywide last year, but city sanitation trucks haven’t killed anyone since 2014, according to a ProPublica investigation. Mayor DeBlasio has repeatedly declined to comment on the troubles of one private hauler, Action Carting — whose drivers have killed five people in the last decade and whose workers complain the company prioritizes speed over safety — even though it has raked in more than $100,000 via city contracts since 2007.
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