New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday insinuated that former Mayor Rudy Giuliani committed a crime for "falsely reporting" that he had been assaulted.
A man who slapped Giuliani on the back at a campaign event Sunday was arrested, jailed for more than 24 hours and faces an assault charge.
During a press conference Tuesday, Adams was asked about the incident involving Giuliani.
"I looked at the video, and someone needs to remind former Mayor Giuliani that falsely reporting a crime is a crime," Adams told reporters at an East Harlem event. "And from what he stated about being punched in the head, felt like a bullet, what he stated, there was a lot of creativity.
"I think the district attorney, he has the wrong person that he's investigating. To falsely report a crime is a crime."
Security camera video obtained by the New York Post captured the encounter at a Staten Island supermarket, where Giuliani was campaigning for his son, Andrew Giuliani, who had been seeking the Republican nomination for governor in Tuesday's primary. (Andrew Giuliani lost to Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y.)
The former mayor was standing with a group of people when another man walking past reached out, patted Giuliani's back with an open palm, and then said something as he walked away.
Giuliani later told a radio host that it felt "like somebody shot me," and in a news conference on Facebook said it was "as if a boulder hit me."
"If that video wasn't there, then this person would've been charged with punching the former mayor. He'd been charged with all of these offenses that did not materialize," Adams said.
Adams was asked if he will have the district attorney investigate Giuliani's claims.
"I'm having a conversation with the police commissioner about, do we feel that was a falsely reported crime because you can't," Adams said. "See, here's my fear: If you don't have a video and someone of prominence making allegations against you, you should not have to wait for a video to determine you did nothing wrong. He's a former mayor. I think he's irresponsible for a former mayor.
"When I heard the report that he was punched in the head and other things, when I heard that, I said, 'Why would someone assault the former mayor?' Now, what if we didn't have the video? This person would have been accused with a serious crime when all he did was pat the guy on the back. You can't do sensationalism to carry out your own agenda, and you can't use the police to carry out your own agenda."
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