Man Who Patted Giuliani’s Back Is Set to Have Assault Charge Dismissed
A grocery store worker who was accused of assaulting Rudolph W. Giuliani at a Staten Island supermarket in June after patting his back while insulting him will have his charges dismissed and sealed in six months without admitting any guilt, as long as he commits no other legal infractions in that time.
Daniel Gill was initially charged with a felony and spent over 24 hours in jail, but his charges were reduced to a misdemeanor after video footage emerged that contradicted accounts from police officials and Mr. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York who served as Donald J. Trump’s personal lawyer. This week, Mr. Gill agreed to a so-called adjournment in contemplation of dismissal that would wipe his record clean.
On Thursday, Mr. Gill’s attorney, Ronald L. Kuby, filed a notice of claim — a precursor to lawsuits against local and state governments under New York State law — that said Mr. Gill had been falsely arrested and imprisoned, and that he had been the victim of unconstitutional search and seizure.
“There should never have been a criminal case,” Mr. Gill said on Thursday. “All I did was express my First Amendment right. Obviously, violence of any sort should always be condemned. However, no violence was perpetrated against Mr. Giuliani.”
The encounter happened around 3:30 p.m. on June 26 at a ShopRite where Mr. Giuliani was campaigning on behalf of his son, Andrew Giuliani, who was a Republican candidate for governor at the time.
Initially, police officials said Mr. Gill slapped Mr. Giuliani while saying, “What’s up, scumbag?” — a phrase Mr. Gill confirmed. The complaint said the blow resulted in “substantial pain to the back and left side” of Mr. Giuliani’s body and caused him to stumble.
However, the following day, video footage published by The New York Post showed that Mr. Gill had walked swiftly past Mr. Giuliani in an aisle, patting him on the back. Mr. Giuliani wobbled slightly forward.
A small group surrounding the former mayor turned and watched Mr. Gill walk around them, as a woman next to Mr. Giuliani began to rub his back where he had been touched. Mr. Giuliani’s security guards quickly grabbed Mr. Gill, he said.
Mr. Giuliani and his attorney could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
The ShopRite case is one of the former mayor’s lesser entanglements in recent months. He is a target in a Georgia criminal investigation into election interference and the subject of a Department of Justice investigation into a scheme to create slates of fake presidential electors in 2020. Mr. Giuliani also recently faced a yearslong federal criminal inquiry into his ties to Ukraine in the 2020 presidential campaign that is said to be unlikely to produce charges.
In June, bristling about the reduction of Mr. Gill’s charges, Mr. Giuliani claimed Mr. Gill’s actions had been prompted by the Supreme Court decision overturning the Roe v. Wade abortion precedent two days before. Mr. Gill said Thursday that his actual motivation was Mr. Giuliani’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election that Mr. Trump lost — a topic Mr. Gill said he never got to bring up.
“This was about him and his involvement perpetuating the myth that someone won the 2020 election when they didn’t,” he said. “I thought that we would exchange a few words and that will be the end of it.”
In the claim notice, Mr. Gill’s lawyer said he is owed $2 million in damages for the fallout of the affair. The publicity caused him to lose his job and embarrassed him before friends and colleagues, Mr. Gill said.
Although he has found work at another grocery store, Mr. Gill said he is appealing his firing through his union on the grounds that Mr. Giuliani was not a customer. In addition, he says his salary now is “much lower” than what he was earning after four years in his previous position as an associate in the dairy department.
Overall, the episode has been “traumatizing,” Mr. Gill said.
“I’ll go back to what I’ve been saying all along,” he said. “None of this should have happened.”