Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani said he was assaulted in a Staten Island supermarket by an employee, in an attack that he said could have ended his life if he had fallen over. The disbarred former lawyer is calling for the grocery store worker to be prosecuted and fired for the alleged assault.
Giuliani was campaigning for his son Andrew, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor of New York, at a ShopRite store on Sunday when he said he was hit from behind. Giuliani said he stumbled forward because of the blow but didn’t fall over.
The suspect was identified as store employee Daniel Gill, 39, who was charged with second-degree assault, according to the New York Police Department.
Giuliani, the former personal lawyer to Donald Trump, has been very vocal about the incident and said that, as a 78-year-old, the blow could have led him to fall, crack his skull and die.
Giuliani told radio show host and former New York mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa that the hit felt like “a shot on my back, like somebody shot me. I went forward, but luckily I didn’t fall down.”
“The guy says words I can’t repeat. ‘You effin’ whatever.’ And then he goes on and on and on, yelling and screaming,” Giuliani said, adding that the man looked “either drunk or high.” The NYPD later told The New York Times that the man said, “What’s up scumbag,” when he hit Giuliani.
“I mean, suppose I was a weaker 78-year-old and I hit the ground, cracked my skull, and died,” he said.
In a video posted to his Facebook page on Monday morning, Giuliani said the alleged attack felt “as if a boulder hit me.”
He claims the man who hit him called him a “woman killer,” and “might have made a reference to the word abortion in there, but mostly it was killing women.”
In a statement to The New York Times, Giuliani said the blow left red marks and that his “back hurts, but otherwise I’m able to walk and stuff like that.”
However, video footage obtained by the New York Post from inside the supermarket — which can be seen in the clip posted to Twitter below — shows a different chain of events than the violent assault described by the former mayor.
In the surveillance footage, a man approached Giuliani from behind and slapped his back. Giuliani remained upright and pointed at the man but did not lurch forward as he claimed in the radio interview and Facebook video.
Giuliani called for Gill to be fired and prosecuted for assault in order to make an “example” out of him.
“This guy should be imprisoned to say to other people, ‘(It’s) over, doesn’t happen,'” he said. “I believe you let Mr. Gill go, a lot more of these crazy pro-choice people are going to start attacking people.”
According to NBC News, Giuliani still feels pain in his shoulder and will consult a doctor on Monday. Police told the outlet that he did not require medical attention.
“It was painful all night. It was hard to sleep. But I’m telling you, it was a very, very heavy shot,” he said.
Giuliani will continue to campaign for his son despite the incident.
Andrew Giuliani released a statement on Sunday saying: “Innocent people are attacked in today’s New York all of the time. This particular incident hit very close to home. The assault on my father, America’s Mayor, was over politics. We will not be intimidated by left wing attacks.”