Burt Colucci
Burt Colucci

A former Lakeland man who is the “commander” of a neo-Nazi group called the National Socialist Movement will appear in an Arizona court Thursday to answer three charges, including one felony, related to a 2021 incident in which he is accused of pointing a firearm at Black men in a hotel parking lot.

A Maricopa County grand jury last week indicted Burt Colucci, 45, on two counts of misdemeanor disorderly conduct and one count of felony disorderly conduct in connection with an April 19 confrontation in the parking lot of the Hilton Hotel in Chandler, Ariz.

According to court documents, the charges were filed by state prosecutors after reviewing affidavits and reports from the Chandler Police Department and a warrant issued for Colucci’s arrest on Jan. 6. On Jan. 20, a summons was issued for him to appear with the grand jury issuing its indictments on the three charges last Thursday.

Colucci has lived in at least two Lakeland addresses since 1997 but also has a listed residential address in Jonesboro, Ark., and currently claims he lives in Kissimmee, where the NSM has a post office box as its national headquarters.

Contacted Tuesday by LkldNow, Colucci refused to say if he still lives in Lakeland or where he is currently residing. “No comment to that,” he said.

Regarding the April incident and his Thursday arraignment, Colucci also wouldn’t elaborate, saying only, “I don’t have any comment. I can’t comment about anything going on in Arizona.”

Colucci participated in a National Socialist Movement rally this weekend at an I-4 median near Watertown Lakes Town Center in Orlando, which drew widespread negative comments on social media and condemnation from elected officials.

On Sunday, about 20 NSM members hung swastikas-adorned banners proclaiming “Vax the Jews” and promoting the Goyim Defense League’s GoyimTV platform on an I-4 overpass near the shopping center. 

StopAntisemitism.org reported the rally was live streamed on neo-Nazi websites with demonstrators chanting, “The Jew is the devil,” “Jews rape children and drink their blood” and “Jews brought slaves here.” 

Colluci was among demonstrators identified by Campaign Against Antisemitism as attacking a motorist who objected to the demonstration. No charges have been filed.

The demonstration drew rebuke from former Republican governor and current U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-Orlando, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer,  Florida House Speaker Rep. Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, and others.

“To see Nazi scum so publicly come out and attempt to organize in Central Florida is absolutely disgusting,” tweeted Florida Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando.  “Every politician in the state of Florida should condemn this behavior and push back against policies that feed into this dangerous ideology.”

“Hatred and anti-Semitism have NO PLACE in our community,” tweeted Florida Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, who represents the state House district where the demonstration occurred. “All Floridians should be alarmed by the rise of extremism and white supremacy in our state.”

Colucci has been free on a $7,500 bond since being arrested by Chandler Police for aggravated assault following the April incident. 

Police say they were called twice on that day to the hotel in response to 911 calls about white males and Black males arguing in the parking lot, arresting Colucci after their second encounter with him.

When officers arrived the first time, only Colucci and his companion were still at the hotel. According to police, Colucci claimed a group of Black men threw “items” at him” during a verbal altercation in the parking lot. He admitted to police that he drew his pistol during the confrontation and kept it in “low-ready.”

At the time, Chandler police wrote in the incident report that with no other witnesses at the scene and “having only one side of the story, no arrests were made.”

That changed hours later when officers were called back to the Hilton for a “similar incident” in which a witness — identified by police as a victim — provided a statement that referenced the earlier incident.

The victim claimed Colucci pepper-sprayed the occupants of his Mercedes SUV and pointed a hand gun at him. “Colucci began throwing trash on their car, using racial slurs, and threatened to kill him and the group he was with,” according to his statement.

Chandler Police say the victim’s account was supported by “an independent third-party witness” who also said she saw “Colucci point the handgun at the victim.”

Colucci admitted in his second interview with police that he pepper-sprayed occupants inside the vehicle because he felt threatened. His use of pepper spray constitutes one of the misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges lodged against him and use of racial slurs the other. The felony disorderly conduct charge is related to this alleged “reckless handling” of his hand gun.

Colucci told police he was in the Phoenix area last April to attend commemorations of Adolf Hitler’s April 20 birthday and that Chandler is  “ground zero” for the neo-Nazi movement.

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Colucci was arrested five times by deputies and the Lakeland Police Department between 1997 and 2002 but has no record of encounters with local law enforcement since.

Colucci was arrested by LPD in January 1997 for failure to deliver a rental car and in April 1999 for domestic violence.

In November 2002, he was arrested for obstructing justice, intimidating a witness, battery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without the intention to kill. Colucci was released after posting a $10,000 bond on those charges but arrested again on Dec. 4, 2002 by Polk County deputies for contempt of court and violating the conditions of a domestic violence conviction by possessing firearms and ammunition. 

He was released from Polk County Jail on Dec. 12, 2002, after positing a $50,000 bond and then arrested again on Dec. 16, 2002 for disorderly conduct. He was released the next day after paying a $500 bond on that charge.

MORE COVERAGE: The Ledger | Arizona Republic

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