The charges against the man accused of hitting Rudy Giuliani on the back were dropped Monday, the same day the former New York City mayor called on him to fire and prosecute him.
Daniel Gill, 39, an employee of the ShopRite grocery store on Staten Island, where Giuliani campaigned for his son Sunday, was initially charged by police with second-degree assault.
However, the prosecutors reduced the charge to assault with intent to cause bodily harm, according to court records. Two other crimes, third-degree threat and second-degree harassment, were added, data shows.
Gill was released on his own admission after a hearing Monday and will return to court on August 17, according to court records.
Legal Aid, representing Gill, characterized the encounter as just a pat on the back – not a dramatic blow.
“Our client just patted Mr. Giuliani, who suffered nothing remotely resembling bodily harm, with no malice to get his attention, as the video footage clearly showed,” Legal Aid said in a statement. pronunciation†
According to the statement, Gill was “followed and threatened” by one of Giuliani’s associates who “allegedly stabbed Mr Gill in the chest and told him he would be ‘locked up’.”
“Given Giuliani’s obsession with seeing his name in the press and his demonstrated tendency to distort the truth, we are pleased to correct the record as to exactly what happened over the weekend on Staten Island,” the statement concluded.
Save security video published by the New York Post shows someone coming into the store behind Giuliani and placing a hand on the back without much reactive movement from Giuliani.
He said Monday that he stopped at the ShopRite to campaign for his son, Andrew, who is running for the Republican nomination for governor of New York, and that he was talking to people when he felt the blow to his back. In a video on his Facebook page, he described it as if “a boulder hit me” and “it hurt a lot”.
Giuliani added that he planned to see a doctor, although police said he did not need immediate medical attention after the incident at the time.
“I’m in good shape for a 78-year-old. He could have easily… knocked me to the ground and killed me by hitting my head,” Giuliani said.
He said the suspect yelled “dirty curse words” at him, accusing him of being a “ladies murderer,” addressing Friday’s Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, a decision that undermines widely supported constitutional law. on abortion.
“I believe you let Mr. Gill go, a lot more of these crazy pro-choice people are going to start attacking people,” Giuliani said.
NBC News has contacted the Staten Island District Attorney’s office for comment on the allegations. Giuliani has not looked into the case since the charges were lowered.
A ShopRite spokesperson said on Monday that Gill has been suspended pending termination.
“We are aware that an incident occurred at our Staten Island store on Sunday, initiated by a store employee involving former Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Store security observed the incident, responded quickly and notified the police,” the statement said. “We have zero tolerance for aggression towards anyone.”
NBC News has reached out to Gill’s attorney for comment. Gill’s family did not respond to requests for comment Monday.