Updated Jun 26, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Rudy Giuliani slapped on back inside New York grocery store

Rudy Giuliani, former advisor to former President Donald Trump, attends the annual Memorial Day Parade on May 30, 2022 in the Staten Island borough of New York City.

Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor and ex-Trump lawyer, in the Staten Island borough of New York City in May. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Rudy Giuliani was slapped on the back in a Staten Island grocery store while campaigning for his son on Sunday, the former New York City mayor and police said.

Driving the news: The New York Police Department told Axios over the phone that a 39-year-old suspect from Staten Island was arrested and charged with second-degree assault following the incident in ShopRite.

What he's saying: "All of a sudden, I feel this, 'Bam!' on my back," Giuliani told the New York Post, which obtained footage of the slap on the former Trump lawyer's back.

  • "I feel this tremendous pain in my back, and I'm thinking, what the — I didn't even know what it was," he told the Post. "I hear this guy say, 'You're a f--king scumbag,' then he moves away so nobody can grab him," Giuliani added.
  • He told the New York Times he had "red marks" on his back but wasn't bleeding. "My back hurts, but otherwise I’m able to walk and stuff like that," he said. "He almost knocked me down. Thank God for a 78-year-old, I am in pretty good shape."

Worth noting: "The one thing he said that was political was 'you're going to kill women, you're going to kill women,'" Giuliani told the NYT, in reference to a comment he made about the Supreme Court's decision overturning Roe v. Wade on Friday that effectively ended federal protections on abortion.

  • The NYPD's initial account didn't mention abortion, but said a man hit Giuliani in the middle of his back while saying, "What's up, scumbag?'" the NYT notes.

The big picture: Giuliani told the NYT he had planned to give out flyers in support of his son, Andrew Giuliani, ahead of Tuesday's Republican primary for governor of New York when the incident happened.

  • Representatives for Giuliani did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from the NYPD, further comment from Giuliani and more context.

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