Woman Who Drove Through BLM Protest Refuses Plea Deal

Woman Who Drove Through BLM Protest Refuses Plea Deal woman is handcuffed by police and leaning on police car A woman later identified as Kathleen Casillo, is arrested by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) during a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) protest on Dec. 11, 2020, in New York City. (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

By Theodore Bunker | Thursday, 02 December 2021 02:41 PM

The New York City woman who drove through a Black Lives Matter protest in Manhattan has refused to accept a plea deal in the case, which means she could serve a year in jail if found guilty, the New York Post reports.

Kathleen Casillo, 52 of Queens, drove a sedan through the protest, which was against Immigration and Customs Enforcement detentions, taking place in Midtown on Dec. 11 last year. Casillo briefly stopped at East 39th Street and Third Avenue before flooring her car while protesters were still standing in front of it, allegedly injuring at least nine people according to the Post. Casillo claims that she felt under attack by the protesters.

On Wednesday, Casillo and prosecutors appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court, where she refused to accept a guilty plea in the charges of reckless assault and reckless endangerment, two misdemeanors that would have most likely resulted in less than a full week of community service and a suspended license for one year.

"She’s not going to do that," her attorney told the newspaper, which means Casillo could face up to a year in prison if she is convicted.

"Kathleen Casillo drove her car at top speed through a crowd of human beings. I was one of those human beings — I never saw her coming," Roque Rodriguez, one of the people hurt in the incident, told amNewYork outside the courthouse on Wednesday, where a protest was taking place.

"She hit me flush from behind and set my body flying and flipping through the air and she kept driving," Rodriguez added. "It’s white supremacy that allowed Kathleen to believe she had the right to end the lives of anyone that got in her way, especially BLM protesters."

She went on to criticize Assistant District Attorney Andrew Mercer for how the case was handled, saying, "he did no due diligence, and instead assumed that Kathleen did not have bad intentions and that no one else was seriously harmed."

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said in a statement to amNewYork that they have "attempted to speak with every victim in this case."

Casillo’s attorney claims that his client "panicked" and "is deeply, deeply concerned and feels very bad for anybody who was injured," but said that "there is no criminal liability here. There was nothing reckless about her conduct."

He also said that "this is not a racial incident," and that Casillo being of Italian descent "does not make her automatically a white devil."