Ogden woman sues UHP after being forced out of car by trooper during traffic stop

Posted at 7:27 PM, Nov 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-25 23:49:53-05

OGDEN, Utah -- An Ogden women says her rights were violated when she was forced out of her car by a Utah Highway Patrol Trooper. Wednesday, she filed an official complaint against UHP.

It was July 18, just before 2 a.m., when dash camera footage captured a struggle between a UHP Trooper and an Ogden woman. A portion of that footage is included in the report above, and the two videos at the bottom of this post show the full encounter as filmed by exterior/interior cameras on the trooper's vehicle.

Just minutes before the incident, Kara Castaldo was on her way home from bar tending in Ogden when Trooper Owen Horne pulled her over. Castaldo says she was stopped in a dark, remote area. She says she didn’t know why she was being pulled over.

“He ordered me out of the vehicle, and I said I didn't feel safe,” Castaldo said.

Finally, Castaldo said she asked the trooper why he was pulling her over. That’s when she found out she had a faulty brake light. He then ordered her to get out of the car.

“It seemed like a really unreasonable demand,” Castaldo said.

Again and again, she refused to get out of the car.

“Something in the back of my brain told me it wasn't normal," she said. "It was dark, and there was nobody there. I didn't feel comfortable with the request at all."

At one point, she says Horne said he smelt alcohol on her breath. That's when Castaldo says she was violently forced out of her car.

She was arrested for interference with an arresting officer, which was later dismissed.

“Someone put a demand on her for getting out of her car for a brake light being out: Are you kidding me?” said Attorney Robert Sykes, who is now taking on her case.

He added: “It’s a tragedy what happened to her, and the violation of her rights, and that’s why we filed."

UHP says there was no excessive force and that the trooper was simply doing his job. They also pointed out that there are several cases, both state and federal, that allow troopers to order someone out of their car.

Castaldo and her attorney are looking for $100,000 in compensation.