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February 7th, 2024 10:13 am

On October 28, 2023, at approximately 10:43pm, officers from the Naples Police Department responded to a 9-1-1 call from a female involved in an altercation with a male subject. Upon officers’ arrival, they found a female victim who was visibly upset, with a laceration below her nose, bruising on both of her forearms, red markings on the back of her left shoulder, and leaves in her hair. The male party, identified as Rick LoCastro, appeared to have no injuries but his left pant leg was torn. While on scene, both parties denied having a physical altercation and left separately. Officers documented the incident, and the case was transferred to the Criminal Investigations Division.

On November 3, 2023, the Naples Police Department Criminal Investigations Division received information from detectives at the Marco Island Police Department. The same victim informed them she was too afraid to press charges the night of October 28, 2023, but reconsidered and was now willing to move forward.

During the follow-up investigation, the victim explained she and LoCastro dined at a restaurant in the 200 block of 9th Street South when an argument ensued. The victim told detectives they left the restaurant in a vehicle together and while driving, LoCastro became angry with her. The victim advised LoCastro stopped the vehicle, walked around to the passenger side, where he forcefully pulled her out of the vehicle by the arm and pushed her into a hedgerow. The victim explained she landed in the bushes face first and sustained a cut above her lip as a result. The victim stated immediately following the incident she was in shock and was scared to tell officers what happened because of LoCastro’s authority as a public figure and political influence in Southwest Florida.

During the investigation, detectives received statements from restaurant staff who advised the victim did not have any visible marks or injuries while at the restaurant or when she departed. Investigators discovered there was a very short span of time between when the victim exited the restaurant and police officers arrived on scene, responding to the 9-1-1 call.

The follow up investigation established Rick LoCastro as the primary physical aggressor by intentionally touching/striking the victim against her will, causing bodily harm. After examining the facts available and the totality of the circumstances, an arrest warrant was requested for Rick LoCastro, for the offense of dating violence related Battery, a violation of Florida Statute 784.03(1).

Due to Mr. LoCastro’s position as a political official in Southwest Florida, the investigation was referred to the Office of the Governor for reassignment. The case was reassigned to the prosecutor’s office of the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit (Monroe County). The Assistant State Attorney, who reviewed the case and evidence brought forward, determined there was probable cause for the arrest of Mr. LoCastro for the offense of Battery (1st degree misdemeanor).

The Office of the State Attorney approved the arrest warrant on January 30, 2024.