Image for article titled Florida Man’s Racist Rampage Stemmed from a Cheese Stick and a Slim Jim

A Florida man pleaded guilty to two federal hate crimes in what the Department of Justice called a “vile assault” on two Black women, according to First Coast News. Investigators determined his threats were based on the race of the women, however, these incidents stemmed from a relatively plain event.

There’s a reason why the NAACP gave Black folks a national warning about Florida… for instances like these.


Police say last September, 27-year-old Frederick Eugene Pierallini III walked into a convenience store to buy a cheese stick and a Slim Jim but his card declined. After growing angry at the employees, he insulted them with the n-word repeatedly and tried to leave with the items without paying. Instead of fleeing the store, he went outside and grabbed his shotgun, cocked it and pointed it at the employees continuing his racial slur-filled tirade.

Two days later, he started yelling racial slurs at an older Black woman sitting in her walker on the sidewalk. In the same fashion as his previous outburst, he grabbed his shotgun and fired it causing the woman to drop to the ground for cover. As a result, she hit her head on the pavement and bruised her knees, the report says.


It took a three-day manhunt to find Pierallini. Now, he’s got to answer to the law.

Read more from The Department of Justice:

“Investigating these acts and seeking justice remains a top priority for the FBI and our partners because hate crimes are not only an attack on the victim – they are meant to threaten and intimidate an entire community,” said Special Agent in Charge Sherri E. Onks of the FBI Jacksonville Field Office. “There is no place for hate and racism, and no one should ever fear they could be targeted in an act of violence based on how they look, where they’re from or any part of their identity. The team at FBI Jacksonville is proud to work alongside our partners at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office to protect all members of this community.”

A sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled. For each count, Pierallini faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, three years of mandatory supervised release and a fine up to $250,000. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has allowed the Sunshine State to become more of a “sundown” state with all the legislative efforts to discredit the significance of systemic racism and invalidate the Black experience. A report from the Anti-Defamation League found acts of racial hate and antisemitism rose by 71 percent between 2020 and 2022. Not every person capable of racist violence has to wear Proud Boys paraphernalia or have a Confederate flag tattoo.

This case just shows that any minor inconvenience can unleash the bigoted beast from inside anyone.