Janine Costantino - A victim of police brutality by the Atlantic City Police Department

“Give me the phone you bitch,” Wheaten said according to Constantino. “He grabbed my bun and he was slamming my forehead into the floor.”

Janine Costantino asserts that Police Officer Sterling Wheaten assaulted her at Dusk Nightclub at Caesars Casino on July 20, 2012. Sometime after midnight, Costantino and her sister watched officials physically remove her brother and brother-in-law from the nightclub. Ten people, including police and security guards were jammed into an elevator when chaos ensued.

Costantino began to videotape the incident with her cell phone. Once the elevator opened, Officer Wheaten grabbed her brother and tackled him to the ground. Costantino alleges that when Wheaten saw that she was videotaping, he came running at her. Wheaten yelled, “Give me the phone you bitch”, grabbed her bun and slammed her forehead into the floor. He then took the phone, which was never recovered.

Wheaten then arrested Costantino and her requests for medical attention were denied. Her injuries consisted of bruising, lacerations and a sprained arm. She was released on $16,000 bond and went to the hospital the next day. All charges were later dropped. Costantino filed a civil suit against Officer Wheaten alleging excessive force and civil rights violations. Internal affairs documents show that twenty-one complaints have been filed against Wheaten between 2008 and 2011. None of them were sustained. Costantino’s civil action is currently pending.

In January 2017, Costantino's case settled for a total of $385,000. 

Press Links: