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Police Arrest Man Who Held A Shotgun To A Black Woman Telling Her To Sit Somewhere Else

JACKSONVILLE, FL. - Yesterday, a man from Florida pleaded guilty to two federal hate crimes related to an incident where he used a gun to attack two women who identify as Black, the Department of Justice reports

U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg for the Middle District of Florida said the defendant in this case allegedly committed an assault on two women with a dangerous weapon, which was believed to be motivated by their race. These actions were considered objectionable and posed a risk to the safety of the women involved and the general public. The commitment remains to collaborate with law enforcement partners in addressing crimes like these using the full extent of the law.

According to the Department of Justice, Frederick Eugene Pierallini III, aged 27, engaged in the act of willfully intimidating the victims and interfering with their ability to enjoy federally protected activities due to their race and color. The first victim was engaged in private employment, while the second victim was utilizing a facility offered by the state of Florida. The victim's names have been withheld for security reasons.


On September 10, 2022, Pierallini visited Daily's Place, a convenience store situated in Jacksonville, Florida. the first victim was employed in the role of a clerk at the register. Pierallini made an attempt to purchase snacks at the register, but his card was declined. He then made an attempt to leave the store with merchandise that had not been paid for. 

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Pierallini eventually came back and criticized the first victim for her job performance, using offensive language with racial undertones. Pierallini exited the store, obtained a shotgun from his car, aimed it at the first victim, and readied it by manually operating the slide to prepare the chamber and insert a bullet. The first victim departed the scene due to feeling frightened. Racial slurs were used by Pierallini during the encounter.

On September 12, 2022, Pierallini encountered the second victim while she was seated in her walker on the public sidewalk near 1571 University Boulevard West, two days after the initial incident. He made derogatory comments about her race and informed her that she was not allowed to occupy her current seat. Pierallini allegedly made threats towards Victim 2. Afterward, he departed and later came back carrying a shotgun. He proceeded to discharge a single round.

According to Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, Pierallini is facing accountability for allegedly targeting two individuals who identify as Black with a firearm on two different occasions. The alleged motivation behind these actions is believed to be related to the victims' race and their participation in activities protected by federal law. Clark believes racially motivated threats and acts of violence are considered unacceptable in contemporary society and said that the Justice Department is prepared to investigate and prosecute individuals who engage in threats and acts of violence against Black people.

According to Special Agent in Charge Sherri E. Onks of the FBI Jacksonville Field Office, the FBI and its partners consider investigating these acts and seeking justice to be a high priority. He says hate crimes are viewed as not only targeting the victim, but also as intended to instill fear and intimidate the entire community. 

Onks further stated the absence of hate and racism is important, and it is crucial that individuals do not live in fear of being targeted for violence due to their appearance, origin, or any aspect of their identity. 

A date for the sentencing hearing has not been set yet. Pierallini could potentially face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, along with three years of mandatory supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count. 

The responsibility of determining a sentence lies with a federal district court judge. This decision will be made made after taking into account various factors, including the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory considerations, the Department of Justice says.

The case was investigated by the FBI Jacksonville Field Office and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. The team at FBI Jacksonville collaborated with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office to ensure the safety of all community members.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley Washington from the Middle District of Florida and Trial Attorney Anna Gotfryd from the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division.

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