April 15, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
A Queens man who brandished a “wolverine” type weapon and chased after a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters in Whitestone last summer has been indicted on attempted murder charges and a series of other crimes.
Frank Cavalluzzi, 55, allegedly jumped out of his SUV and ran after about a dozen demonstrators while waving a menacing weapon – which contained four blades and was strapped to his hand. He then got back into the vehicle and attempted to run the protesters down, according to the Queens District Attorney’s Office.
Cavalluzzi, who is from 150th Street in Flushing, has been charged with nine counts of attempted murder, nine counts of attempted assault, criminal possession of a weapon and other charges including reckless driving.
He faces up to 25 years in prison on each count of attempted murder.
The incident was captured on video and went viral online. There were no reported injuries, police said.
According to the charges, Cavalluzzi became enraged when he encountered the demonstrators while driving his SUV across a bridge above the Cross Island Parkway on June 2 at around 3:45 p.m.
The demonstrators were on a sidewalk atop of the bridge protesting the killing of George Floyd, which had taken place a week earlier, prosecutors said. They had also placed several protest signs along the bridge fence.
It is not clear what exactly sparked the incident, but a video posted online by Patch shows protesters yelling “white trash, bitch,” and “f—k you,” in the direction of Cavalluzzi. Meanwhile, Cavalluzzi could be heard shouting to the crowd, “you’re in the wrong neighborhood,” and accused some of them of hurling objects at his car during the incident.
He also shouted “I will kill you,” according to the Queens District Attorney, before pulling up alongside the protesters in his car.
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said that the incident was “sheer terror for the victims.”
“As alleged, the defendant donned a glove made of knives – something resembling a horror movie prop – and chased the peaceful protesters on foot,” Katz said. “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.
He mounted the sidewalk, according to court documents, and drove the vehicle in the direction of the protesters who scrambled into the street to avoid being struck by the SUV.
“Cavalluzzi allegedly revved the engine and even maneuvered between a fence and a street light pole trying to get the victims who were running away in fear,” according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.
He then fled the scene in his vehicle and turned left onto Cross Island Parkway, according to videos posted on social media.
Cavalluzzi pleaded not guilty before a Queens Supreme court judge Wednesday. He was ordered to return to court on May 5.