(NEW YORK) — A Queens, New York, man was convicted last week on multiple counts of attempted murder for attacking peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstrators in 2020, according to prosecutors.
Frank Cavalluzzi, 57, was found guilty on nine counts of attempted murder in the second degree, nine counts of attempted assault in the first degree, seven counts of menacing in the second degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree and reckless driving, prosecutors said on Monday.
His conviction comes after a two-week trial where prosecutors said Cavalluzzi attempted to kill Black Lives Matter activists in June 2020, over a week after George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis officer.
Prosecutors said that Cavalluzzi went after demonstrators while wearing gloves adorned with jagged blades and then tried to run them over driving his vehicle on the sidewalk, the Queens District Attorney Office said.
“A dangerous man is going to jail. It’s a good day for New York and the First Amendment,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement.
Cavalluzzi faces up to 25 years in prison for each count of attempted murder, prosecutors said. He will be sentenced on Oct. 13.
Prosecutors said on the afternoon of June 2, 2020, a group of demonstrators were hanging up signs in support of the Black Lives Matter movement when Cavalluzzi noticed the group while driving, pulled over his SUV across the street and started to curse and scream racial slurs at the group.
“You are in the wrong neighborhood,” Cavalluzzi reportedly said, according to prosecutors.
Cavalluzzi allegedly made a U-turn, left his vehicle while wearing a leather glove with four serrated blades attached to his arm and chased several members of the group while waving the glove and yelling at them, before getting back into his SUV, screaming, “I will kill you” to the demonstrators and attempted to run them over, prosecutors said.
“The world will see this case through a prism of politics, but I see it involving a single man with mental health challenges struggling to understand the evolving city where we live. It’s a sad situation,” Cavalluzzi’s attorney Michael Horn told ABC News in a statement.
Horn said that they are going to appeal the decision.
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