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Press Release

Florida Man Sentenced for Racially Motivated Attacks on Two Black Women

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Jacksonville, FL  – A Florida man was sentenced yesterday to 60 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for committing two federal hate crimes by attacking two Black women with a gun.

Frederick Eugene Pierallini III, 27, previously pleaded guilty to these crimes on July 6, 2023.

“The defendant is being held accountable for targeting two Black women with a gun on two separate days because of their race,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “No one in this country should have to live in fear that when they use public spaces or work at their job, they risk attack by someone who hates them because of the color of their skin. The Justice Department is committed to protecting Black people from racially-motivated violence. We will continue to be relentless in investigating and prosecuting individuals who threaten or commit unlawful acts of hate.”

“The violent assaults committed against these two women because of their race are intolerable,” said U.S. Attorney Roger Handberg for the Middle District of Florida. “There is no place in our society for such heinous acts. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to aggressively investigate and prosecute individuals who target individuals and communities because of their race, ethnicity or beliefs.” 

“Hate crimes like these are not only attacks on the victims but are meant to threaten and intimidate an entire community,” said Assistant Director Michael D. Nordwall of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “The FBI and our partners will continue to prioritize investigating civil rights violations and work together tirelessly to bring perpetrators to justice.”

According to court documents, Pierallini willfully intimidated the victims and interfered with their enjoyment of federally protected activities using force or a threat of force, because of their race and color. Victim 1 was enjoying her private employment and Victim 2 was enjoying a facility provided by the state of Florida.

Specifically, on Sept. 10, 2022, Pierallini went to a convenience store, located in Jacksonville, Florida. Victim 1 was working there as a clerk at the register. Pierallini attempted to buy snacks at the register, but his card was declined. He then attempted to walk out of the store with unpaid merchandise. Pierallini ultimately returned, scolding Victim 1 for not knowing how to do her job and directing racial slurs at her. Pierallini left the store, retrieved a shotgun from his car, pointed it at Victim 1 and cocked it by pulling the slide back to open the chamber and loaded a bullet into it. Victim 1 ran away in fear. Pierallini continued to use racial slurs throughout the encounter.

Two days later, on Sept. 12, 2022, Pierallini approached Victim 2 as she was sitting in her walker on the public sidewalk. He directed racial slurs at her and told her that she could not sit where she was. Pierallini also threatened to kill Victim 2. He then left, returned with a shotgun and fired a single shot. Victim 2 sustained injuries when she fell to the ground in response, but she was not hit by Pierallini’s shot.

The FBI Jacksonville Field Office and Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office investigated the case. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley Washington for the Middle District of Florida and Trial Attorney Anna Gotfryd of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section prosecuted the case.

Updated April 25, 2024

Civil Rights
Hate Crimes