A man has been charged with assault after hitting former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in a Staten Island Shop Rite.
Mr. Giuliani, 78, was smacked on the back by a store worker while on the campaign trail for his son Andrew Giuliani, who is running for governor in New York‘s primary Tuesday.
“So I get out, I walk to the men’s room, I come out of the bathroom, a group of people around me … and all of a sudden, I feel a shot on my back, like somebody shot me,” Mr. Giuliani told WABC’s Curtis Sliwa in an interview Sunday. “I went forward, but luckily, I didn’t fall down. I’m the 78-year-old and in pretty good shape, because if I wasn’t, I had hit the ground and probably [would] crack my skull.”
A video of the incident showed Mr. Giuliani talking to a group of five people in the store when a man approached him from behind and slapped him on the back with an open palm as he walked by. The two men appeared to speak to each other as the suspect continued to walk around the group.
According to Mr. Giuliani, the suspect, Daniel Gil, 39, of Staten Island who was later arrested and charged with second-degree assault involving a person over the age of 65, screamed profanities at the former New York City mayor about the Supreme Court ruling on Friday that overturned Roe v. Wade.
“Then he goes on yelling and screaming things like, ‘You’re gonna kill women, you’re gonna kill women.’ He looked either drunk or high… And I thought to myself, ‘I got to have this guy arrested, because this is going on too damn much,’” Mr. Giuliani said.
“These Democrats get away with everything,” he said, referencing the protesters in front of the homes of Supreme Court justices, and the attempt on Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s life earlier this month. The man in the Kavanaugh incident was arrested and charged.
Mr. Giuliani decided to call authorities to have the Shop-Rite worker arrested and to press charges.
“[Law enforcement] looked at the tape and they said, ‘My God, he really hit you very hard,’” Mr. Giuliani said. “I have five witnesses, including one city worker, and the other a retired detective. The city worker said that I was hit so hard that it almost knocked her over.”
He told Mr. Sliwa, “I’m like, ‘I’m gonna get this guy arrested as an example that you can’t do this. And I said, also, in New York, we don’t prosecute people anymore. And one of the reasons I brought crime down is I didn’t ignore stuff like this.”
Andrew Giuliani said in a statement that the incident “hit very close to home.”
“Innocent people are attacked in today’s New York all of the time,” the candidate said. “The assault on my father, America’s Mayor, was over politics. We will not be intimidated by left-wing attacks. As governor I will stand up for law and order so that New Yorkers feel safe again. This message has resonated with voters throughout my campaign, leading up to Tuesday’s primary.”
The younger Giuliani is running in the GOP New York gubernatorial primary against Rep. Lee Zeldin, former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and businessman Harry Wilson.
Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled the name of former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.