A man who allegedly charged peaceful protesters in Queens, New York, with a “wolverine” knife claw has been arrested on a number of charges the incident including attempted murder after surrendering to authorities, officials have said.
Frank Cavalluzzi, 54, surrendered to authorities after he was seen in video allegedly intimidating protesters wearing a glove with four long, serrated-edged blades, the Queen’s district attorney office said.
The incident allegedly occurred on Tuesday at the overpass above the Cross Island Parkway in Queens, where a number of demonstrators were gathered to protest the death of George Floyd.
Floyd, an unarmed black man, died on 25 May after a Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground by his neck for a prolonged period of time.
Outrage over Floyd’s death has spiralled in the last week, with violent protests and demonstrations breaking out in all 50 US states.
Mr Cavalluzzi, 54, jumped out of a vehicle shouting “I will kill you”, and chasing protesters while wearing the knife glove, a press release from the office of District Attorney Melinda Katz claimed.
George Floyd protesters have been demonstrating in the area after someone was seen on camera ripping a protesters’ sign down at the location earlier this week, The New York Post reported.
“In a burst of anger and rage, this defendant allegedly sought to kill protesters who were peacefully assembled and exercising their right to free speech,” Ms Katz said, adding that it was “amazing” no one was injured.
Mr Cavalluzzi then got back into his vehicle and nearly ran over the demonstrators by driving on the sidewalk, the release said.
The 54-year-old turned himself in on Thursday and was arraigned on a number of charges including second-degree attempted murder, multiple degrees of attempted assault, reckless endangerment.
He could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted, according to the release.
Bail has been set for the defendant at $100,000. It is yet unclear if Mr Cavalluzzi has legal representation.
Hundreds and thousands of New York residents have taken to the streets to protest the death of Floyd, police brutality and systemic racism over the last week.
Additional reporting by The Associated Press.
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