A Flushing man was indicted Wednesday, April 14, on nine counts of attempted murder after he allegedly threatened to kill a small group of Black Lives Matter protesters with a Wolverine-type weapon in Whitestone last summer.
Frank Cavalluzzi, 55, also faces attempted assault, reckless endangerment, reckless driving and criminal possession of a weapon charges for threatening the group of about a dozen racial justice demonstrators in June 2020, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
If convicted, Cavalluzzi faces up to 25 years in prison for each of the nine victims.
On June 2, around 3:45 p.m., about a dozen Black Lives Matter were holding a peaceful demonstration, calling for justice in the killing of George Floyd, on an overpass at the intersection of the Cross Island Parkway service road and Clintonville Street, according to the charges.
Cavalluzzi drove by and began to yell at the protesters, Katz said. He then jumped out of his SUV with a four-bladed weapon, similar to the blades that protrude out of the fictional superhero Wolverine’s hands, and walked toward the young demonstrators.
“You are in the wrong neighborhood,” the charges say Cavalluzzi told the protesters. “I will kill you.”
The Flushing man began to run after one of the protesters, shouting at him, according to the criminal complaint.
He then hopped back into his car, made a U-turn, and drove onto the sidewalk where the protesters were standing. Cavalluzzi drove along the length of the overpass, sending the demonstrators into the street and onto the fencing of the bridge. He then drove off.
Cavalluzzi was arrested two days later, on Thursday, June 4.
“The defendant in this case became enraged when he spotted Black Lives Matter protesters demonstrating in the neighborhood. The moments that followed were sheer terror for the victims,” Katz said in a statement. “As alleged, the defendant donned a glove made of knives – something resembling a horror movie prop – and chased the peaceful protesters on foot. Then with people running for their lives, he allegedly stepped up the attack by getting back in his SUV and tried to run the victims over with the nearly two-ton vehicle.”
Cavalluzzi wasn’t the only threat the small group of protesters faced during their weekslong demonstration last summer.
A man identified by Twitter users as Anthony Abicca was spotted ripping down protest signs hung over the overpass.
In a video uploaded to social media prior to the incident, Abicca refers to Whitestone as a “nice little white town,” and uses various racial slurs to refer to the protesters in the neighborhood.
In a separate video that shows Abicca tear down the signs, one of the demonstrators calls him a “racist.”
“Yeah, and?” Abicca replied.
Cavalluzzi was ordered to return to court on May 5.