Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz today announced the arrest of a 54-year-old Queens man who was allegedly observed on viral videos attacking peaceful demonstrators on Tuesday afternoon in Whitestone, Queens. The nonviolent gathering on the overpass above the Cross Island Parkway turned into a frenzied scene with the defendant hopping out of his vehicle and allegedly chasing protesters while wearing a glove infused with 4 long, serrated-edged blades. Then the defendant allegedly got back behind the wheel of his SUV and mounted the sidewalk nearly running down the marchers. The defendant is now charged with attempted murder, attempted assault, menacing and other crimes.

District Attorney Katz said, “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. No one at any time should infringe upon another’s Constitutionally-protected freedoms and doing so with the intent to injure and maim is criminal. This defendant is alleged to have yelled out ‘I will kill you’ to the peaceful crowd. He is accused of brandishing a multi-bladed glove and then chasing after individuals on foot and then continuing the pursuit in a 2-ton vehicle. It is amazing that no one was injured in the melee. The defendant is in custody and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Frank Cavalluzzi, 54, of 166th Street in the Whitestone neighborhood of Queens. The defendant is arraigned before Queens Criminal Court Judge Mary Berjarano on a complaint charging him with attempted murder in the second degree, attempted assault in the first and second degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree, menacing in the second degree, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. Judge Berjarano set bail at $100,000 and ordered the defendant to return to Court on July 2, 2020. If convicted, Cavalluzzi faces up to 25 years in prison.

According to the charges, said District Attorney Katz, at approximately 3:45 p.m. at the intersection of Clintonville Street and the Cross Island Parkway service road on June 2, 2020, a group of about a dozen peaceful demonstrators held up signs and posters calling for justice in the death of George Floyd. The defendant was one of the many drivers to pass by the demonstration. Cavalluzzi, however, began yelling at the protesters. Then, he pulled over, got out of the SUV wearing a device harnessed at his wrist with 4 serrated-edged blades protruding from a glove. The defendant allegedly began chasing a young man in a threatening manner with the knives and shouted in anger at him.

Continuing, said District Attorney Katz, according to the complaint, the defendant rushed toward others on the overpass threatening them with the multi-bladed glove. He allegedly yelled out in sum and substance to the demonstrators “I will kill you” just prior to driving onto the sidewalk and accelerating toward the protesters.

According to the complaint, the defendant revved the engine and maneuvered to go between a fence and street light pole aiming to run down protesters. The crowd of demonstrators quickly disbursed running in all directions to get away from the defendant.

After videos of the incident were shared on social media, police began to conduct an investigation. The defendant surrendered himself to police this morning at the NYPD’s 109th Precinct.

The investigation was conducted by Detective Justin Hubbard of the New York City Police Department’s 109th Precinct Detective Squad.

Assistant District Attorney Christina M. Stephens, of the District Attorney’s Career Criminal and Major Crimes Bureau, is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Shawn Clark, Bureau Chief, and Michael Whitney, Deputy Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.

**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.