KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A White Aryan Resistance gang member has been sentenced to 40 years in prison on charges of aggravated kidnapping and unlawful possession of a weapon.
Nicholas Christopher Grassia III, 28, pleaded guilty to the charges on Tuesday according to the Knox County district attorney’s office.
On July 15, Knoxville Police were called to a disturbance on Fourth Avenue. A victim explained that Grassia became angry and slammed her head into a wall several times. Grassia then pushed the victim to the ground and punched her in the face and body.
“At one point during the attack, Grassia squeezed the victim’s throat and put her in a choke hold, strangling her,” a news release from the district attorney’s office said. “Grassia punched the victim in the head several more times, causing her to lose consciousness.”
In a separate incident on Aug. 7 a KPD officer conducting a traffic stop on a car driven by Grassia found a handgun under the driver seat. Grassia has eight prior felony convictions, making it illegal for him to possess a firearm.
Grassia’s eight prior felony convictions are out of Jefferson County for aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault and aggravated burglary cases.
Grassia has been classified as a member of the White Aryan Resistance, a white supremacist neo-Nazi gang.