'Tough as Nails'
Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and a central figure in the scheme to overturn former President Donald Trump's electoral defeat, called the police on an employee at a ShopRite grocery store in Staten Island on Sunday. Giuliani told the New York Post he had just exited the men's room and was greeting supporters when "all of a sudden, I feel this, 'Bam!' on my back."
"I feel this tremendous pain in my back, and I'm thinking, what the — I didn't even know what it was," Giuliani told the Post. He later called in to Curtis Sliwa's talk radio show and said the slap felt like "somebody shot me," adding, "Luckily, I"m a 78-year-old who is in pretty good shape. Because if I wasn't, I would have hit the ground and probably cracked my skull." The Post published surveillance footage of the incident.
Rita Rugova-Johnson, who is apparently the woman just to Giuliani's left in the video, told the Post she "was shoulder-to-shoulder with Rudy inside ShopRite," when "all of a sudden an employee came out of nowhere and open-handedly slapped him in the back and said, 'Hey, what's up scumbag?'" The initial police report mentioned the "scumbag" remark, but Giuliani told reporters the man also referenced the Supreme Court striking down Roe v. Wade.
The 39-year-old suspect was charged with second-degree assault involving a person over age 65, the Post reports. Giuliani said he had no choice but to call the cops. "I say to myself, 'You know something? I gotta get this guy arrested,'" he told the Post. "I talk about 'broken windows' theory all the time. You can't let the little things go. I'm like, 'I'm gonna get this guy arrested as an example that you can't do this.'"
Giuliani told The New York Times he still has red marks on his back but isn't bleeding from the slap. "I've been in politics 50 years, I've never been attacked like this," he said.
Here's the video footage combined with Giuliani's play-by-play from the Sliwa call-in.
Giuliani was on Staten Island campaigning for his son Andrew Giuliani, who is running for governor and faces two prominent GOP opponents in Tuesday's primary. Andrew Giuliani released a statement tying the "assault" to his campaign's "law and order" theme. He told the Post his father is "tough as nails."