Police have arrested the ShopRite worker who assaulted former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani as he was campaigning for his son, Andrew Giuliani, on Sunday. Suspect Daniel Gill was taken into custody after slapping Giuliani on the back with a force that Giuliani claims could have resulted in him being seriously injured.
The former mayor told Insider, “I feel a shot on my back, like somebody shot me. I went forward, but luckily I didn’t fall down.”
Store footage shows that Giuliani was meeting with a handful of supporters outside of the restroom and handing out flyers for his son’s campaign for New York governor when the suspect Gill approached Giuliani from behind and slapped him on the back. Gill accosted the former mayor, saying, “What’s up, scumbag?” with expletives littered throughout the confrontation.
“I feel this tremendous pain in my back, and I’m thinking, what the — I didn’t even know what it was,” Giuliani said in a statement to the New York Post. “All of a sudden, I hear this guy say, ‘You’re a (expletive) scumbag,’ then he moves away so nobody can grab him.”
Rita Rugova-Johnson was a witness of the assault, having been “shoulder-to-shoulder” with Giuliani at the time of the slap-attack.
“We’re talking, and all of a sudden an employee came out of nowhere and open-handedly slapped him on the back,” Rugova-Johnson told the New York Post. “(The attacker) was on duty at the time.”
Giuliani claims Gill continued to shout at him, saying, “You guys think you’re saving babies, but you’re gonna kill women.”
When he believed that Gill would not stop shouting, the former mayor called the police and the Staten Island resident was arrested. Giuliani refused medical attention at the ShopRite, but claimed he would be seen by a doctor the next day, according to NBC.
“I mean, suppose I was a weaker 78-year-old and I hit the ground, cracked my skull and died,” Giuliani said to Insider about the incident.
The confrontation occurred just two days after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, and in the midst of the Jan. 6 hearings. Andrew Giuliani was campaigning with his father at the time of the assault.
“The assault on my father, ‘America’s mayor,’ was over politics,” Andrew Giuliani said in a statement to NBC. “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.”
Rudy Giuliani has called for Gill’s termination from ShopRite and seeks prosecution against him for his intentional assault. Gill now faces charges of second-degree assault of an individual over 65 years of age. He also faces “suspension pending termination” from ShopRite, according to the parent company of ShopRite, Wakefern Food Corporation.
“We have zero tolerance for aggression toward anyone,” Wakefern said in a statement on Gill’s actions.