An inmate was charged Friday with the attempted murder of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin (pictured) last week at a federal prison in Arizona. File Photo courtesy Ramsey County Sheriff's Office/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 2 (UPI) -- U.S. officials have charged an Arizona inmate with seriously injuring Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of killing George Floyd, in a prison stabbing attack last week.
John Turscak, 52, was charged with attempted murder, assault with intent to commit murder, assault with a dangerous weapon and assault resulting in serious bodily injury, the Department of Justice announced on Friday.
Authorities alleged that while incarcerated at Federal Correctional Institution Tucson, Turscak stabbed another inmate, officially identified only as "D.C.," approximately 22 times with an improvised knife.
Law enforcement sources confirmed to ABC News that Chauvin is the stabbing victim identified in case.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison confirmed last week that Chauvin was stabbed by another inmate and hospitalized on Nov. 24 while serving time at the medium-security Tucson facility.
Chauvin, a White police officer, was convicted in April 2021 on charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the May 25, 2020, killing of Floyd, a Black man. Chauvin drew a 21-year federal sentence for violating Floyd's civil rights and a 22 ½-year state sentence for the second-degree murder charge.
The slaying, which was graphically depicted in a bystander's cellphone video, ignited a worldwide protest movement against police brutality aimed at unarmed Black suspects.
Documents filed in Arizona federal court on Friday and posted by KVOA-TV include statements by an FBI investigator alleging that Turscak told guards he would have killed Chauvin if they had not intervened in time.
The FBI alleged Turscak told them he had been thinking about assaulting Chauvin for weeks because he is a "high-profile inmate" and committed the act on "Black Friday" -- the post-Thanksgiving shopping day -- in a symbolic gesture correlating to the Black Lives Matter anti-racism movement and the "Black Hand" symbol associated with the Mexican Mafia.
A Los Angeles Times article published in 2001 identified Turscak as a former Mexican Mafia member who admitted committing crimes while working as an undercover FBI informant.
Turscak, then 30, pleaded guilty to racketeering and conspiring to kill a gang rival that year, drawing a 30-year sentence.