Did Giuliani go too far?
A man was arrested, jailed for 24 hours, and is now facing charges of assault after slapping former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on the back at a campaign event on Sunday (June 26).
The incident occurred at a supermarket in Staten Island, where the former New York City mayor was campaigning for his son, Andrew Giuliani, who is pursuing the Republican nomination for governor in Tuesday’s (June 28) primary.
Descriptions of the account between Giuliani and his alleged assailant vary.
Giuliani describes the open-palm touch as being hit by a bullet that had the potential to kill him, whereas the lawyer for the accused describes it as a tap, with the man attempting to get the former mayor’s attention.
Following the incident, the New York Post obtained security footage of the encounter. In the footage, Giuliani is standing among a group of people when a man walking past approaches him, extends his arm, touches the former mayor’s back with his open palm, and says something as he walks away.
According to police, the man said, “What’s up scumbag?” But Giuliani says the man called him a “woman killer,” a phrase he linked to the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Despite not reacting to the touch in the footage, in subsequent interviews, Giuliani described the hit as feeling “Like somebody shot me” and “as if a boulder hit me.”
Giuliani also claimed that while he would typically ignore such incidence, he was pursuing this one because “Democrats get away with everything,” he also stated in interviews that after calling the police, he was adamant the man be “held” and arrested.
But the Legal Aid Society, representing the man accused by Giuliani of assault, pointed to the video footage as evidence that “our client merely patted Mr. Giuliani, who sustained nothing remotely resembling physical injuries, without malice to simply get his attention.”
Legal representation also lamented the time spent in jail, calling it “needless.”
Giuliani’s heckler is expected to appear in court on August 17 on misdemeanor charges, including third-degree assault.