Jail sentence lifted for man who waved chainsaw at 2020 Texas protest


Daniel Peña (source: Hidalgo County Public Records)

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (KVEO) — A McAllen man who received national attention for waving a chainsaw at protesters in 2020 was sentenced to serve time in jail but has had his sentence suspended.

On Tuesday, Daniel Peña, 45, was sentenced to two years in jail for committing deadly conduct and assaulting a man in June 2020 at a McAllen protest.

However, the Hidalgo County Court at Law #6 decided to lift his jail time believing that it’s in Peña and the public’s best interest if he is placed on probation, rather than serve a jail sentence.

Peña is ordered to pay $700 in fines and will be placed on community supervision for two years.

Under the probation, Peña will have to take an anger management course, submit to random drug and alcohol evaluations, and will face further punishment if he commits a crime during the probation period.

On June 5, 2020, Peña was seen waving a chainsaw at protesters. He later struck a man with his hands, according to court documents.

(Video sent by viewer in June 2020)

While demonstrators protested against racial injustice on McAllen’s Main Street amid nationwide focus on the subject, Peña shouted racial slurs at the people and told them to “go home.”

Peña was arrested following the incident as the video of him committing the act went viral as people across the country voiced dismay or support at his actions as he became dubbed the “chainsaw man.”

On Tuesday, the court ordered McAllen police to destroy the chainsaw used in the incident, an Echo CS-352.

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