Journey drummer on meth during arrest
USA Today, July 2, 2015
SALEM, Ore. —New details emerged Wednesday at a bail hearing for Deen Castronovo, the 50-year-old drummer for the rock band Journey, who attorneys said was high on an overdose of methamphetamine at the time of his June 14 arrest on charges that he assaulted a woman.
Marion County Circuit Judge Channing Bennett ordered that Castronovo remain in jail without bail, noting that he was a danger to the victim.
At the hour-long hearing, Marion County Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Gardiner said police had to break down the door of Castronovo's Southeast Salem, Ore. home to arrest him on June 14. Castronovo's attorney, Jeffery Jones, said he was first taken to Salem Hospital because of his overdose condition before being booked at the Marion County jail.
Castronovo was initially charged with fourth-degree assault and menacing, and he posted $20,000 bail. On June 29 he was arrested again — this time on a grand jury indictment stemming from the same incident.
The indictment charged him with five counts of fourth-degree assault, one count of first-degree rape, two counts of menacing, one count of unlawful use of a weapon, one count of second-degree assault, one count of second-degree sex abuse, one count of coercion, one count of second-degree criminal mischief, and three counts of contempt of court.
The indictment indicates the alleged abuse took place between April 25 and June 29.
Gardiner said Castronovo's arrest stemmed from a week-long series of violent events during which he threw the victim into a wall 14 times, pulled her hair, sexually assaulted her and forced her to have sex with him. Gardiner said the assaults left large bruises on the victim's legs, arms and breasts.
As Gardiner read details of the alleged incident, Castronovo talked to himself and sometimes looked toward the ceiling. He appeared weary and took deep breaths and seemed to shake. At one point Castronovo wobbled and nearly fell over. Three deputies helped him to sit in a chair as he closed his eyes.
Gardiner played two voice mails at the hearing to showcase Castronovo's mental and emotional state.
After Castronovo was released from jail June 15, he called the victim 35 times and text messaged her 122 times, Gardiner said, despite being under a court order to have no contact with her. He also left voice mails during which he threatened to kill himself and told the victim he wanted her to suffer.
In the first voice mail, Castronovo apologized to the victim and then threatened her.
"I'm sorry, (victim's name)," he said. "You should call me. On Friday you will be forcibly removed from my house. My life is ruined. You didn't have to call the cops. I've suffered and now you're going to suffer. I love you."
The second voice mail features a hysterical Castronovo. The message is directed at police officers, who had previously answered one of Castronovo's calls while interviewing the victim.
"I don't care anymore," Castronovo cried. "I'm going to kill myself ..."
He then pleaded for help from police.
"I wish the officer who answered the phone would call me back," Castronovo cried. "Give me some (vulgarity deleted) help. You think this is a joke? I'm sick and I need help!" he screamed.
Two former wives of Castronovo's were present at the courtroom. Jones said the women attended to show the judge there had been no previous reports of domestic abuse while they had been in relationships with the drummer.
Jones also highlighted some of the ways Castronovo had been involved in the community.
"He's been a productive part of Salem," Jones said. "He donated to South Albany High School, he befriended a boy named Austin who was involved in a car accident in Keizer. He gives back to the community."
Castronovo donated $10,000 to the South Albany band program after a fire leveled the building that housed the band room, which contained all of the program's instruments.
Following the arraignment, Castronovo's friend, Antonio Mata, 42, of Salem, said he was disappointed in the outcome of the hearing.
"I think that there are two sides to every story," Mata said. "I was really hoping they would let him go so he could get some help. That process needs to start sooner rather than later."
Mata, who is a drummer for the band Cryhavok, said Castronovo was a big inspiration to him.
"He's human, he makes mistakes," Mata said. "I still look up to him and he's going to take this as a man. Even though he makes mistakes we're here to support him — we love him."