Driver who hit protesters in Midtown charged with reckless endangerment: NYPD

Manhattan
protests struck mva.png

Emergency response in Midtown Manhattan, Friday, Dec. 11, 2020.

MIDTOWN, Manhattan — Police charged a Queens woman who drove into a crowd of protesters in Midtown on Friday, injuring six people, authorities said Saturday.

Kathleen Casillo, 52, is accused of driving her 2019 Black BMW sedan into the protesters at 39th Street and Third Avenue around 4 p.m.

The sedan had slowed down at the intersection or had come to a complete stop before Casillo hit the gas and plowed into the crowd, video of the incident shows.

Six people were taken to area hospitals, according to the FDNY. Police said all six victims were protesters who suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

A protester and witness told PIX11 that bicyclists were blocking the intersection, which has become common to alert drivers that a march is taking place on the street. He claimed the driver of the vehicle proceeded anyway, creating the chaotic scene and injuring protesters.

Casillo, of Rockaway Park, was taken into custody, charged with reckless endangerment and given a desk appearance ticket, according to police.

One protester also was arrested and charged with interfering with EMS workers trying to aid a victim. Manhattan resident Nicolle Besuden, 32, was charged with disorderly conduct and obstruction of governmental administration, police said.

The protest was in solidarity with ICE detainees on a hunger strike at Bergen County Jail. A protester who streamed a portion of the incident live on Facebook said the protest was a part of a march that began in Times Square.

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