By Weston Blasi
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani was slapped on the back by a ShopRite employee while campaigning for his son inside a Staten Island supermarket on Sunday.
The ShopRite employee, Daniel Gill, 39, was taken into police custody at the New York City store, the New York Post reported . He reportedly has no record of prior arrests and was charged with second-degree assault involving a person over age 65. Charges against him were later downgraded to third-degree assault, third-degree menacing and second-degree harassment, the Post reported .
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The worker was “suspended pending termination,” Wakefern Food Corp., ShopRite’s parent company, told Insider on Monday .
Giuliani was campaigning for his son, Andrew Giuliani, a Republican seeking the nomination for governor of New York. U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin bested the junior Giuliani on Tuesday and will face incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul in November .
“We are aware that an incident instigated by a store associate involving former Mayor Rudy Giuliani took place at our store on Staten Island on Sunday. Store security observed the incident, reacted swiftly and the police were notified. We have zero tolerance for aggression toward anyone,” a ShopRite spokesperson told MarketWatch.
Giuliani was not available for comment, but he had spoken about the incident with several news outlets on Sunday. “All of a sudden, I felt this tremendous slap on my back or banging on my back,” Giuliani told CBS New York . “I didn’t know what it was.”
Video footage of the altercation went viral, leading Giuliani’s name to trend on Twitter /zigman2/quotes/203180645/composite TWTR +0.56% in June. The CCTV footage was also widely shared on Reddit.
“People around me helped me,” Giuliani said the day after the altercation. “People around me secured the person who did it. The videotape that you see probably is a little deceptive because it just shows that hand on my back.”
In the video, Giuliani doesn’t appear to be hit very hard, but, he said, “I mean, suppose I was a weaker 78-year-old and I hit the ground, cracked my skull, and died,” the former mayor added in a radio interview on “The Curtis Sliwa Show.”
In a Monday video posted on Giuliani’s Facebook page , he described being hit on the back “as if a boulder [had] hit me.”
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Giuliani said that the man who slapped him on the back yelled obscenities at him, and said that Giuliani was “going to kill women.” This was viewed as likely in reference to the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade , which had legalized a woman’s right to an abortion in all 50 states for the past 50 years. In developed countries such as the United States, it’s estimated that 30 women die for every 100,000 unsafe abortions , according to the World Health Organization.
Giuliani, a Republican, does not currently hold any U.S. government position. He previously served as a personal attorney, including during challenges to the 2020 election result, for former President Donald Trump, who in his single White House term put on the bench three of the five Supreme Court justices who voted to strike down Roe v. Wade.
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Andrew Giuliani said that his father was doing fine, adding, “It’s a sad day when New Yorkers’ greatest crime fighter, ‘America’s Mayor,’ is attacked. I blame the left wing for encouraging violence. This is crazy.”
Zeldin topped Giuliani in the Republican primary by a margin of 43.9% to 22.8%, while Rob Astorino and Harry Wilson drew voter percentages in the teens.