Activists outside Manhattan court berated a Queens woman who used her car to mow down Black Lives Matter protestors during a Midtown rally after she after she cut a sweetheart plea deal with prosecutors and avoided jail time.
As part of an agreement with the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, Kathleen Casillo, 53, was sentenced to five hours of community service instead of seven years in prison. On Dec. 11, 2020, Casillo was driving her black BMW sedan with her 29-year-old daughter when she drove into a BLM protest. In the video footage of the incident, several protestors were thrown into the air. Six people sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
As part of the deal, Casillo pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor, but if she stays out of trouble for six months, she will get a disorderly conduct violation instead.
“You f—ed people’s lives up, you’re a criminal,” shouted one demonstrator after Casillo's plea hearing. “You’re a criminal and you have not taken responsibility.”
She criticized Casillo's claim that she had hit the gas in panic because the protestors had been "aggressive."
“They didn’t do anything,” the demonstrator said. “My husband’s back was turned when you hit him and sent him flying into the air. His back was turned. How was that aggressive?”
Casillo's defense lawyer, however, insisted that justice had been served.
“We’re very gratified after an exhaustive and thorough review the Manhattan DA’s office has decided that Kathleen Casillo should not receive a criminal conviction, which we have maintained from the beginning of the case,” attorney Oliver Storch said. “Ms. Castillo is a retired grandmother who looks forward to putting this horrible ordeal behind her and spending time with her family,” Storch said. “Her thoughts and prayers go out to anybody injured.”
Casillo apologized as she left court as well. “I”m sorry for everyone, I really am,” she said.
This flagrant disrespect towards the people that Kathleen Casillo harmed is inexcusable.
Source: The New York Post