A Florida man who leads a neo-Nazi group was arrested in Chandler, Arizona on Monday on charges of threading a group of African American men with a gun in a hotel parking lot.
Burt Colucci, 45, is the “commander” of the National Socialist Movement (NSM), which calls itself the "largest and most active" National Socialist organization in the country.
Colucci was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon stemming from an incident where a witness told police he threw trash in the group’s car, shouted racial slurs and pulled a gun on them, according to KNXV Phoenix.
Chandler is a city southeast of Phoenix.
The alleged incident occurred at a Hilton Hotel. Colucci had been in Phoenix two days earlier participating in a neo-Nazi rally with 15 members of his group. They had been holding a rally in a Phoenix park where they yelled at Black people and challenged them to fights.
Colucci told police that he was the group’s commander. He described the group as a “white civil rights group,” according to KPHO Phoenix News.
According to stopantisemtism.com, Colucci said his group had approximately 100 members and that he wanted white people to “stand up for themselves” by shooting black people.
According to police, Colucci told them that the car that the group of African American men were driving pulled next to him in the parking lot and began tossing garbage out of the car. He said that was when an argument started with him confronting them about the trash, and that they told him they were armed but he didn’t see any guns. He admitted taking out his gun but said he never pointed it at a specific person. He also said that the men pulled behind his truck and started to throw items at him, causing him to spray a chemical “irritant” into their car before they drove away, KPHO reported.
A witness who saw the incident told police that she saw Colucci aiming the gun, which was loaded at the time, at the men.