Neo-Nazi leader arrested in Chandler for assault SanTan Sun News

Neo-Nazi leader arrested in Chandler for assault

April 29th, 2021 SanTan Sun News
Neo-Nazi leader arrested in Chandler for assault
Community
0

SANTAN SUN NEWS STAFF

A leader of a neo-Nazi organization was arrested outside a Chandler hotel April 19 after he allegedly threatened a group of African-American men by a pointing a loaded firearm at them.

Burt Colucci is facing charges of aggravated assault after witnesses reported hearing him shout racial slurs at four men sitting in a vehicle parked outside Home2 Suites, 2490 W. Queen Creek Road.

Colucci admitted to confronting the group, claiming he saw the men toss garbage out of their car. He proceeded to pepper-spray the group, but Colucci insisted his firearm was not used to intimidate anyone.

“Burt said he never pointed the gun at anybody and it was pointed down the entire time,” a police report stated.

The Florida man is a commander of the National Socialist Movement, one of the country’s largest white supremacist groups, and had traveled to Arizona last week for a rally in downtown Phoenix.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has described the NSM as a “hate group” known for regularly espousing violent, anti-Semitic rhetoric.

NSM members were involved in the 2017 “Unite the Right” riot near Charlottesville, Virginia, in which a neo-Nazi motorist driving through a crowd of protestors and killed a woman.

In 2019, Colucci reportedly moved up in the organization’s leadership ranks after its former director left. Colucci has described the organization as a “white civil rights group.”

According to Chandler Police, the altercation involving Colucci began at about 8 a.m. as the suspect and a friend were pulling into the hotel’s parking lot.

“Burt went over and picked up some of the garbage, put it on their car, and told them they forgot some of their garbage,” a police report states.

The group threw the garbage back at Colucci and the two groups began yelling racial slurs at each other.

Someone threw a water bottle at Colucci, who responded by pepper-spraying the group’s vehicle as they drove out of the parking lot.

Chandler Police chose not to make any arrests since they couldn’t locate and interview the group of African-Americans.

A couple hours later, some of the African-American men returned and another altercation broke out in the hotel’s parking lot with Colucci.

The African-American men claimed Colucci made deadly threats.

One witness told investigators they saw Colucci point his gun in an “aggressive” fashion.

During the investigation, Chandler Police reportedly had to keep the two groups physically separated because members of Colucci’s posse tried antagonizing the African-American men by yelling slurs and flashing offensive gestures.   

“At one point, one of the males demonstrated the open-handed salute associated with the Nazi Party,” a police officer wrote.

Colucci warned investigators his arrest could result in an uprising from his devoted followers and claimed Chandler could become “ground zero” for the NSM movement.

The defendant was transported to the Chandler-Gilbert municipal jail and booked on felony charges of aggravated assault.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.