NYC woman who drove through BLM protest turns down plea deal

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A Queens woman accused of driving through a Manhattan Black Lives Matter protest a year ago has refused a plea deal — choosing to stand trial because she insists she had been under attack.

Kathleen Casillo, 52, was caught in shocking video footage as she drove her black BMW sedan through the protest against ICE detentions in Midtown on Dec. 11 last year.

It shows her stopped at 39th Street and Third Avenue with protesters in front of her car — seconds before she floors it, with people screaming and rushing to help those left crumpled on the ground.

Casillo insisted at the time that she was felt under attack from protesters who were screaming abuse and banging on her car. She was released within hours with a desk ticket, The Post noted at the time.

Casillo was offered a deal of six days community service and a suspension of her drivers license for a year.
Kathleen Casillo was offered a deal of six days of community service and a suspension of her drivers license for a year.
Steven Hirsch

On Wednesday, she appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court where she was offered a plea deal of just six days community service and a suspended license for a year, DailyMail.com said.

But she turned down the offer — preferring to take her case to a jury, the outlet noted.

Casillo was accused of driving through a BLM protest in Manhattan last December.
Casillo was accused of driving through a BLM protest in Manhattan last December.
Kevin Cox via Storyful
The 52-year-old claims she was under attack by the demonstrators.
The 52-year-old claims she was under attack by the demonstrators.
Kevin Cox via Storyful

Protesters gathered outside the court, even bringing a TV to play footage of the incident, photos by amNewYork show.

Some chanted “Black Lives Matter!” while others carried signs saying that “Kathleen Casillo is Kyle Rittenhouse,” the teen gunman recently acquitted of all charges over the deadly shooting at BLM protests last year in Kenosha Wisconsin.

“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 told the outlet outside court.

Casillo, who is due back in court on Jan. 28, 2022, was charged with reckless endangerment following the incident.
Kathleen Casillo, who is due back in court on Jan. 28, 2022, was charged with reckless endangerment following the incident.
Getty Images
Protesters gathered outside of the courthouse during Casillo's court appearance in December 2020.
Protesters gathered outside of the courthouse during Kathleen Casillo’s court appearance in December 2020.
Steven Hirsch

“She hit me flush from behind and set my body flying and flipping through the air and she kept driving.

“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,” Rodriguez insisted.

She also blasted Assistant District Attorney Andrew Mercer for the lenient handling of the case, as well as not following up with seven of the nine people allegedly hit.

A protestor has his leg bandaged after the car struck multiple Black Lives Matter protesters on Dec. 11, 2020.
A protestor has his leg bandaged after the car struck multiple Black Lives Matter protesters on Dec. 11, 2020.
AFP via Getty Images

“He did no due diligence, and instead assumed that Kathleen did not have bad intentions and that no one else was seriously harmed,” Rodriguez claimed.

Tabitha Howell said that she was left with “five bulging discs in my back and a traumatic brain injury.”

“It’s one thing to face physical recovery. It’s another to try to process what happened mentally and emotionally,” Howell said.

NYPD officers surround Casillo’s car after she struck multiple Black Lives Matter protesters Dec. 11, 2020.
NYPD officers surround Casillo’s car after she struck multiple Black Lives Matter protesters on Dec. 11, 2020.
AFP via Getty Images

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office insisted to the paper that it “has attempted to speak with every victim in this case.”

Casillo is due back in court on Jan. 28.

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