NYC mom who slammed into BLM protesters attacking her car refuses plea deal: ‘I’m not guilty’

Kathleen Casillo, a 54-year-old New York City mother-of-three, has turned down another plea deal after plowing her BMW into Black Lives Matter protesters in 2020 on Third Avenue when they attacked her car, sending activists flying in the process.

**WARNING: Graphic Content**

(Video Credit: The Sun)

The woman is opting for a jury trial after appearing in Manhattan Criminal Court on Tuesday, according to the Daily Mail. She stood with her attorney and informed the court that she had no interest in a plea deal after turning one down a year ago. The incident took place on December 11, 2020, nearly two years ago. She is from Howard Beach, Queens.

Casillo could get seven years in prison after turning down the plea deal. If she had taken it, she would have only done six hours of community service and had her license suspended for a year.

The driver has previously claimed that the demonstrators swarmed her car and called her “a white privilege b*tch” before banging on the vehicle. Casillo claims that she then panicked and hit the gas while protesters tried to open the car doors. She allegedly plowed into the mob and nine protesters were injured.

Casillo told the Daily Mail last year that she feared for her daughter’s life when the car was attacked and decided to hit the gas.

(Video Credit: The Daily Mail)

Following the incident, Casillo was issued a desk appearance ticket and was released just hours after she was arrested. Her 29-year-old daughter was also in the car when the attack took place. She has not been charged. Her mother was later charged with reckless assault.

“My side of the story was we were attacked by people who were going to break my daughter’s window and pull her out of the car, so I feared [for] my life,” Casillo told the Daily Mail in 2021.

She turned down the last plea deal in December, stating, “I’m going to court to clear my name because I’m not guilty.”

“I feel sick,” she claimed. “I never intended on hurting anyone. I just feared for my daughter’s life more than anybody. I thought they were going to pull her out of the car. They’re just making the black community look like they’re thugs. One of my closest friends is a woman of color, from when I was 19 years old, so it’s not a black, white thing. I don’t know even know the color of the people that I hit. It was all mixed.”

The video that went viral shows Casillo slamming into the protesters and the aftermath. There was visible damage to the BMW sedan.

A number of injured protesters were taken to Bellevue Hospital to be treated for their injuries. Since the altercation, police have had to stand guard at Casillo’s home because she’s getting death threats and she fears for her family.

When she showed up at Manhattan Criminal Court last year, security officers escorted her into the building as BLM protesters reportedly compared her to a female Kyle Rittenhouse.

“You know when you picture a protest, you picture a bunch of [people] protesting for something. That’s not what we saw,” Casillo’s daughter Dominique told the Daily Mail on Thursday.

She recounted that the incident was a “traumatizing situation” and they were driving down “an empty street” when “a few people came out of nowhere. It didn’t look like a protest. It was more like being attacked by random people who were being menaces.”

Dominique went on to claim that those attacking the BMW “weren’t really part of the protest,” because it “was a block up.”

“They were just lingering and pulled out of nowhere before we stopped the car,” she said to the Daily Mail. “We waited, watched the light turn green [then] red. We waited a long time, and they were just there like this, doing nothing. Then they walked away just a little bit so we could move. We started driving and they started attacking the car. So naturally, we stopped again, and that’s when they started hitting [the] car, cursing us out. I was really scared honestly.”

“Finally there was a bit that actually cracked the window open on my side and that’s when my mother started to roll,” Dominique recalled. “We said we have to get out of here because they’re not going to stop.”

“There was no other car around,” she noted. “There might have been cars behind us, but we were the first car on an empty sidewalk, so was it just like ‘wrong place, wrong time?’ I don’t know.”

Dominique also remarked that it was “sad because I definitely think there’s some bad menaces that go and ruin protest because there were people there protesting for a cause and they were just there looking for trouble.”

Casillo’s attorneys have rejected claims that she is racist and intentionally hit the protesters, calling it a “false narrative” that is “without merit and deeply disturbing.” They are demanding that she get a fair trial.

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