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Who is John Turscak, man accused of stabbing Derek Chauvin 22 times?

Man charged with stabbing Derek Chauvin was member of Mexican Mafia gang
Man charged with stabbing Derek Chauvin was member of Mexican Mafia gang 01:30

MINNEAPOLIS — The inmate who allegedly stabbed Derek Chauvin in federal prison last week was identified as John Turscak, according to new charges filed on Friday.

Turscak, 52, was charged with attempted murder, assault to commit murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, and assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

Documents allege that he stabbed Chauvin with an "improvised knife" in the law library of the Tuscon Federal Correctional Institution on Nov. 26. In a post-Miranda interview with FBI agents, he said he had been thinking of assaulting Chauvin for approximately one month because of his high-profile nature.

RELATED: Derek Chauvin was stabbed 22 times in federal prison attack, according to new charges

He saw his opportunity on Black Friday, and said he attacked Chauvin on that day because it was symbolic of the Black Lives Matter movement and the "Black Hand" symbol associated with the Mexican Mafia, charges allege.

Turscak is serving a 30-year prison sentence for carrying out crimes while working as a federal informant. 

He was recruited as part of a 1999 case that eventually brought down charges against members of the Mexican Mafia, a gang that he admitted he had joined in 1990, according to court documents. 

MORE: Derek Chauvin's stabbing raises further questions on federal prison security

During his time in the mafia, he said he authorized "assaults of individuals for infractions of Mexican Mafia rules," and collected "taxes" from street gangs and drug dealers in "return for Mexican Mafia protection and permission to engage in narcotics trafficking." 

He also said he murdered a man in 1990 while he was in Folsom Prison, and authorized the murder of another man in 1998, according to documents. 

Chauvin was hospitalized following the attack, but was said to be in stable condition as of Saturday. 

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