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NYC WOMAN THAT DROVE THROUGH BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTEST GOES TO COURT!

A Queens woman charged with driving through a Manhattan Black Lives Matter protest won’t plead guilty in the case — risking jail time to prove she slammed on the gas because she feared for her daughter’s life as an angry mob attacked her car, she said Thursday.

Kathleen Casillo, 52, had been Christmas shopping on Dec. 11 last year when she was caught in shocking video footage driving her black BMW sedan through the protest against US Immigration and Customs Enforcement detentions in Midtown.

Kathleen Casillo refused a plea deal for her role in a December 2020 incident when she appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court.
Steven Hirsch
The video shows Casillo stopped at East 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 — who was in the car with her 29-year-old daughter – told The Daily Mail protesters attacked her car and were ready to break her passenger side window and drag her daughter out of it.

“I feel sick,” Casillo told The Daily Mail. “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.”

On Wednesday, she appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court for a hearing, where prosecutors said a guilty plea on two misdemeanors would likely have resulted in just six days’ community service and a year’s suspension of her license.

But Casillo is refusing to cop to charges of reckless assault and reckless endangerment.

“She’s not going to do that,” her attorney, Oliver Storch, told The Post — meaning Casillo could instead face up to a year in jail if convicted.

“Not all accidents are criminal,” Storch said, calling it an “aberration” that his client was even arrested. He also said authorities could have arrested the protesters on charges such as criminal mischief.

Kathleen Casillo, who is due back in court on Jan. 28, 2022, was charged with reckless endangerment following the incident.
Getty Images
“This was an angry mob that descended upon this mother and her daughter, and she panicked,” he said, saying the BLM protesters had stood on their car and appeared set to smash the windows, turning a “fun, pre-Christmas shopping moment into a nightmare.”

“We’re not making light of this,” he insisted, saying his client “is deeply, deeply concerned and feels very bad for anybody who was injured.”

“But there is no criminal liability here. There was nothing reckless about her conduct,” he insisted.

Storch asked for the public to “withhold judgment” — especially over what he described as erroneous attempts to paint it as “a racial incident.”

Casillo said she didn’t look at the incident as “a black, white thing.”

Casillo’s daughter, Dominique, told the Mail on Thursday that “it didn’t look like a protest” when her mother’s car was surrounded.

“It was more like being attacked by random people who were being menaces,” Dominique said.

Storch said he and his client had to be escorted into court Wednesday because of another “angry mob” outside — including some holding signs saying, “Kathleen Casillo is Kyle Rittenhouse.”

“I don’t think any rational person could make that leap,” he said of comparisons to the teen gunman who was recently acquitted over the deadly shooting at BLM protests last year in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

“There’s no way that she said, ‘I’m going to go to Manhattan and engage in human bowling,’ to look for Black Lives Matter protesters,” he said of the retiree who worked for 25 years at FedEx.

“This is not a racial incident,” he said, also stressing that Casillo being Italian-American “does not make her automatically a white devil.”

He called for the criminal charges to be dropped so the case could be “settled in a civil lawsuit across the street” and not through “mob justice.”

The protest outside court Wednesday included some of those injured in the incident, with a TV set up on a table to play footage of it, photos by amNewYork show.

“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,” one of those hurt, Roque Rodriguez, told the outlet outside court.

“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 handling of the case, as well as not following up with seven of the nine people who were allegedly hit.

“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 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.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office told amNewYork 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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