- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 1, 2018

President Trump reportedly stopped a “bat-wielding attacker” during a 1991 incident in New York City.

The New York Daily News republished the story Tuesday after the president was mocked in the media for claiming he would have ran into the high school unarmed to help students during last month’s mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.

The story, written by James Rosen on November 20, 1991, said Mr. Trump, then a billionaire real estate mogul, ordered his driver to pull over near midtown Manhattan so he could confront “a big guy with a big bat” hitting another man in an attempted mugging.

Mr. Trump was reportedly hesitant to talk to the paper about the incident but eventually relented.

“I’m not looking to play this thing up,” he said. “I’m surprised you found out about it.”

Mr. Trump said he, his former wife Marla Maples and another couple were on their way to a Paula Abdul concert in New Jersey when someone in the limousine exclaimed that someone was being mugged on the street.

“I said to my driver to stop the car because it was brutal-looking,” Mr. Trump said, adding that the attacker delivered at least “five or six good whacks” to the victim before he interceded.

“The guy with the bat looked at me, and I said, ‘Look, you’ve gotta stop this. Put down the bat,’” Mr. Trump recalled. “I guess he recognized me because he said, ‘Mr. Trump, I didn’t do anything wrong.’ I said, ‘How could you not do anything wrong when you’re whacking a guy with a bat?’ Then he ran away.”

Mr. Trump said he left the scene only after he knew that an ambulance was on the way.

Witnesses told the Daily News that Mr. Trump “leaped” from his limo to stop the attack, ignoring Ms. Maples “tugging at his arm to try to stop him.”

“A lot of people were surprised that he got out to see what was happening,” 16-year-old Kathleen Romeo told the paper, adding that the attacker ran off just before Mr. Trump got there.

But another witness, who asked not to be identified, said, “There was a guy with a bat, hitting a guy over the head, and Trump yelled, ‘Put that bat down. What are you doing?’ The guy dropped the bat, came over and started talking to him.”

Police said the attack was not reported to police.

The Daily News story gained new attention this week after Mr. Trump criticized Broward County Sheriff’s deputies for not entering Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz carried out a mass shooting that took the lives of 17 students and faculty members. 

“You don’t know until you test it, but I think, I really believe I’d run in there, even if I didn’t have a weapon, and I think most of the people in this room would have done that too,” Mr. Trump told a gathering of U.S. governors at the White House on Monday.

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