Good News for Guy Who Clapped Giuliani on the Back

Charges dropped, as long as he stays out of trouble for 6 months
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 28, 2022 7:04 PM CDT
Updated Sep 22, 2022 2:00 AM CDT
NYC Mayor: Giuliani May Have Falsely Reported Crime
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks during a news conference June 7, 2022, in New York.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

(Newser) Update: The man charged with assault after he was seen on a video slapping the back of former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani accepted a deal Wednesday to have the charges dismissed. According to the Richmond County district attorney's office, the case has been adjourned in contemplation of dismissal, which means the charges will be dropped in six months if the man stays out of trouble, the AP reports. An assistant DA said in a statement in court that the man “violated a basic social contract which is a lesson taught when we are young—keep your hands to yourself.” But the district attorney said proving in court that the man caused physical injury or intended to do so would be “extremely difficult.” Meanwhile, an attorney for the man said he has no prior criminal record and “did not commit any criminal act, and this outcome, which will ultimately dismiss the case in its entirety, reflects that reality.” Our original story from June 28 follows:

New York City Mayor Eric Adams suggested Tuesday that former Mayor Rudy Giuliani be investigated for filing a false police report for claiming he was assaulted by a heckler who clapped him on the back Sunday at a Staten Island grocery store. "Someone needs to remind former Mayor Giuliani that falsely reporting a crime is a crime," Adams told reporters, saying he'd watched security video that undercut Giuliani’s harrowing account. The heckler, who police said cried out “What’s up scumbag?” as he walked away from Giuliani, was arrested and spent more than 24 hours in jail before his arraignment Monday on misdemeanor charges including third-degree assault, the AP reports.

Giuliani, 78, described being hit so hard it felt like being shot with a gun. Adams said he thinks Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon "has the wrong person that he’s investigating. "When you look at the video, the guy basically walked by and patted him on the back," Adams said. "It was clear that he was not punched in the head. It was clear that it didn’t feel like a bullet. It was clear that he wasn’t about to fall to the ground." Sunday’s supermarket incident happened as Giuliani was campaigning for his son, Andrew, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor in Tuesday’s primary.

Giuliani gave a profanity laced response when asked about Adams’ comments by the New York Post. He called the mayor a "scumbag." The heckler was released without bail after the charges were downgraded Monday. He is due back in court Aug. 17. Giuliani was standing with a group of people when a man walking past reached out, touched his back with an open palm and then said something as he walked away. In security video, Giuliani barely reacts when his back was touched, but speaking to fellow Republican radio host Curtis Sliwa on WABC, he said it felt “like somebody shot me.” Later, in a news conference on Facebook, he said it was “as if a boulder hit me.” (Read more Rudy Giuliani stories.)

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