Mayor Adams suggested Tuesday that former Mayor Rudy Giuliani falsely reported a crime — and that the Staten Island prosecutor probing assault charges against the man Giuliani accused should instead turn his attention to the former mayor.
“I think the district attorney should — he has the wrong person,” Adams said at an unrelated press conference in Harlem. “To falsely report a crime is a crime. If that video wasn’t there, then this person would have been charged with punching the former mayor. He’d have been charged with all these offenses that did not materialize.”
Adams was referring to the now-widely viewed video that shows Daniel Gill tap Giuliani on the back while at a Staten Island supermarket where he was campaigning on Sunday with his son, Andrew, who is running for governor.
The video depicts Gill — who works at the supermarket, but is now suspended pending termination — patting or slapping Giuliani on the back. It then appears that the two exchange words.
Giuliani has claimed that Gill “hit me to knock me down” and has said it felt like a bullet or as “if a boulder hit me.”
“If that doesn’t merit jail time in New York, we’re in the Wild, Wild West,” he said Monday. “It hurt tremendously. I did not know what it was. I had no idea what it was. And all of a sudden I heard someone yell something at me, dirty curse words.”
But the current mayor clearly wasn’t impressed with his predecessor’s description, especially in light of the video depicting it.
“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. And so it was clear that he had a lot of creativity and sensationalism that caused this person to be arrested. Falsely reporting a crime is a crime.”
Adams added on Tuesday that he plans to discuss the incident with NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell to determine whether what Giuliani did amounts to falsely reporting a crime.
“Here’s my fear: If you don’t have a video and someone of prominence makes allegations against you, you should not have to wait for video to determine you did nothing wrong,” he said. “What if we didn’t have the video? This person would have been accused with a serious crime when all he did was back the guy on the back. You know, you can’t do sensationalism to carry out your own agenda. And you can’t use the police to carry out your own agenda.”
Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon, whose office has charged Gill with misdemeanor assault, menacing and harassment over the supermarket fracas, declined to comment via a spokesman on Adams’ call for a probe into Giuliani.
Hours after Adams made those remarks, Giuliani went into attack mode during a virtual press conference from his Manhattan office, calling Adams an “idiot” repeatedly.
“Mayor Adams is an idiot because I didn’t file a report. Can you imagine that? He wants to prosecute me for a false police report that I didn’t file. His Police Department filed the report. They did the investigation,” he said.
“He doesn’t really give a damn about victims,” Giuliani continued of Adams. “I’m 78 years old. I may be a former mayor, but how about considering me a citizen?”
Giuliani said Adams is attacking him to distract from the fact that he is “worse than de Blasio.”
“You know why you’re worse than de Blasio? You’re a phony, that’s why,” he added.
Giuliani claimed he’s still in pain from Sunday’s incident on Staten Island.
“My shoulder hurts like hell, and I got a big lump on the back, and I don’t complain,” he said. “I never complain.”