Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was slapped on the back and called a “scumbag” by a grocery store worker at a campaign event on Sunday. The worker has since been arrested and now faces an assault charge.
Giuliani had visited the Staten Island supermarket while out campaigning for his son, Andrew Giuliani, who is currently running for New York governor.
CCTV footage shows the worker, identified as ShopRite employee Daniel Gill, in a mask walking up behind Giuliani and slapping him on the upper back before being escorted away.
Rita Rugova-Johnson, a bystander, told the New York Post: “We’re talking [with Giuliani], and all of a sudden an employee came out of nowhere and open-handedly slapped him in the back and said, ‘Hey, what’s up scumbag?’”
Giuliani said Gill accused him of being “one of the people that’s gonna kill women,” which he considered a reference to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
While Giuliani barely reacted when the slap occurred, he has said in interviews afterwards that the he was knocked forward and almost fell because of it.
“All of a sudden, I feel this, ‘bam!’ on my back,” Giuliani told the Post. “I don’t know if they helped me not fall down, but I just about fell down, but I didn’t. I feel this tremendous pain in my back, and I’m thinking, what the – I didn’t even know what it was,” he said. “All of a sudden, I hear this guy say, ‘you’re a f–king scumbag,’ then he moves away so nobody can grab him.”
Speaking to radio host Curtis Sliwa on WABC, he described the incident as similar to being “shot.” He later said in a online press conference that it was “as if a boulder hit me.”
Giuliani said he “might have ordinarily ignored it,” but decided to call the police because “these Democrats get away with everything.” He added, “I called the 1-2-3 precinct … and I told the people there, ‘I want this guy held and I want him arrested.’”
Gill, a 39-year-old Staten Island local with no prior criminal record, was arrested and will be charged with second-degree assault involving a person over the age of 65. However, his lawyers are accusing Giuliani of giving a misleading account of the incident.
According to The Legal Aid Society – the nonprofit law firm representing Gill – the former mayor is simply obsessed “with seeing his name in the press.”
“Our client merely patted Mr. Giuliani, who sustained nothing remotely resembling physical injuries, without malice to simply get his attention, as the video footage clearly showed,” the society said in a statement.
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NEW YORK POST
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