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A New York storekeeper has spoken of the moment she was next to former Mayor Rudy Giuliani when he was “attacked” by an employee at a Staten Island grocery store Sunday afternoon.
Drita Rugov was standing next to Giuliani who had agreed to have her picture taken when out of the blue a 39-year-old shop assistant punched the 78-year-old on the back.
Rugov claims the blow was so hard that she felt it too.
“It has gone so fast. I mean, I was standing shoulder to shoulder with Giuliani and I could have been hit. Don’t mind me, I just felt sorry for Giuliani. He hit him so hard I could feel it.’
Speaking to Dailymail.com, she said she felt sorry for the former New York mayor and said he didn’t deserve the treatment he received simply because of his political views or beliefs.
“I was doing my usual usual shopping here in ShopRite when I saw former Mayor Giuliani there. I went up to him to say “hello” and I wanted a picture with him. I was about to take this photo when a gentleman who works here punched him in the back with his hands open, closer to his neck, and said to him, “Hey, damn bastard!”‘ explained Rugov.
Drita Rugov was standing next to Giuliani who had agreed to have her picture taken when out of the blue a 39-year-old shop assistant punched the 78-year-old on the back
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani campaigned with his son and New York governor candidate Andrew Giuliani, seen left in a file photo taken earlier this month
“First of all, he is an elderly person and whatever his political views, no one should be touched. He went to the men’s room and then this gentleman was clearly not happy with Giuliani and decided to attack him, so the gentleman was arrested,’ Rugov continued.
“I’m a regular shopper here and I’ve seen that employee here. I never had words with him or anything. I’m actually stunned that this gentleman did that, especially knowing that all the staff are nice and the owners are nice to everyone,” Rugova said.
Surveillance footage captured by in-store cameras appears to show the alleged attack was nothing more than a tap on the back, but Giuliani seemed to have felt things differently and went on to describe on New York radio station WABC how lucky he was. he had not been seriously injured or even killed.
Giuliani had been at the ShopRite supermarket and had been using the in-store restrooms when he was accosted by the employee, who was promptly escorted by security and arrested. He is now charged with second-degree assault.
Giuliani was on Staten Island to show support for his son Andrew, who is a candidate for governor and is running for the Republican primary this Tuesday.
Shortly after the incident, Andrew tweeted, “MAKE NEW YORK SAFE AGAIN!”, although he did not specifically refer to the incident.
The attacker, who has not been named, was taken into custody while in the store and charged with second-degree assault involving a person over the age of 65.
“First of all, he is an elderly person and whatever his political views, no one should be touched. He went to the men’s room and then this gentleman was clearly not happy with Giuliani and decided to attack him, so the gentleman was arrested,” explains Rugova.
Giuliani told the incident on WABC radio later on Sunday night in which he said he could be seriously injured.
“I’m coming out of the men’s room and there’s a group of people around me hugging and kissing me. Suddenly I feel a shot in my back. Like someone shot me!” he began.
“I feel a huge pain in my back, and I think, what the — I didn’t even know what it was. Suddenly I hear this man say, “You’re an asshole,” then he goes away so no one can grab him.
‘I went forward, but luckily I didn’t fall. 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 fractured my skull and then I look around and the guy says words I can’t repeat . ‘You f***in’ whatever!’
“He goes away screaming and screaming, ‘You’re going to kill women!'”
“You think you’re saving babies, but you’re going to kill women,” the worker, who is charged with assault, continued to be furious.
Rudy Giuliani was attacked Sunday by a supermarket worker in Staten Island while campaigning for his son, Andrew, when he was beaten (file photo)
Giulinai said he understood the comment was about abortion rights and the Supreme Court’s destruction of Roe v Wade.
“The Supreme Court has made a decision,” Giuliani said. “That’s why you don’t attack people. I mean, go change it.’
“He looked drunk or high. He works for ShopRite and I thought to myself that normally I would have ignored it. But I had to have this man arrested because this is too much going on.
“I mean, suppose I was a weaker 78-year-old and my skull broke and died?” he asked.
‘This has to stop. This is going to be ridiculous,” he told the New York Times† “I’ve been in politics for 50 years, I’ve never been attacked like this.”
Giuliani said he had red spots on his back, but there was no blood and he had managed to stay upright.
“My back hurts, but I can walk and things like that. He almost knocked me down. Thank goodness for a 78 year old, I’m in pretty good shape.”
Giuliani has flipped over the years when it comes to his stance on abortions, first opposing them and then supporting them before coming back.
On his WABC radio show, he said he went through “a torturous, intellectual, emotional and moral situation involving abortion” before finally deciding he was against the practice.
Giuliani, 78, was at the supermarket when he was stunned by his son, Andrew, who is on his way to become governor of New York state (file photo)
Shortly after the incident, Andrew Giuliani tweeted ‘MAKE NEW YORK SAFE AGAIN!’ although not specifically referred to the incident
Giuliani was at the grocery store while campaigning for his son, Andrew, who is running for governor of New York state ahead of Tuesday’s primaries.
“He’s fine,” son Andrew told the… New York Post† But it’s a sad day when New Yorkers’ greatest crime fighter, America’s Mayor, is attacked. I blame the left for encouraging violence. This is crazy.’
Andrew said his father was in a good mood and joked, “I ran into the only person who doesn’t vote for Andrew Giuliani.”
Witnesses and law enforcement say his father appeared shocked after the attack.
‘I was amazed. I stood shoulder to shoulder with Rudy in ShopRite. We’re talking, and suddenly an employee came out of nowhere and punched him in the back with open hands and said, ‘Hey, what’s up,” Rugova-Johnson told the New York Post.
†[The attacker] was on duty at the time,” she said. “The police arrested him.”
The attack took place at the ShopRite store in Staten Island on Veterans Road
Giuliani allegedly posing for photos at the time of the attack by a store employee
A lawyer for former President Donald Trump, Giuliani made baseless allegations of voter fraud and wanted to contest the results of the 2020 presidential election
Giuliani, who was a lawyer for former President Donald Trump during his tenure, posed for photos at the time of the attack.
“Rudy has been attacked,” said Giuliani’s partner Dr. Maria Ryan. “He’s a 78-year-old man with a bad back and bad knees.”
A ShopRite store employee who answered the phone told DailyMail.com they were “not allowed to say anything,” but the store later released a statement about the incident.
“We are aware that an incident earlier today was initiated by a store employee involving former Mayor Rudy Giuliani at our Staten Island store. The store security observed the incident, reacted quickly and the police were alerted.
“We have zero tolerance for aggression towards anyone,” a spokesman said.
On Twitter, Giuliani was outright mocked about the incident.
‘Wow! I would never condone spanking a government official unless they’ve done and said all the horrible things Rudy has done,” one joked.
“He was beaten so hard that his hair started to cry again,” another mocked.
“Hopefully the Staten Island ShopRite employee had access to hand sanitizer,” added another Twitter user
On Twitter, Giuliani was outright mocked about the incident