Case dismissed against man who slapped Giuliani on back

A man who was charged with assault after he was seen on a video slapping the back of former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani had his case dismissed.

According to the Richmond County district attorney's office, the case has been adjourned in contemplation of dismissal, which means the charges will be dropped in six months if the man stays out of trouble.

The incident occurred in June while Giuliani, 78, was at a Staten Island supermarket in support of his son Andrew’s ultimately unsuccessful bid to win the Republican party’s nomination for governor. Giuliani was standing with a group of people when a man walking past reached out, touched Giuliani's back with an open palm and then said something as he walked away.

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Giuliani appeared to barely react in the video, but later said it felt "like somebody shot me" or that he had been hit by a boulder. After slapping Giuliani's back, police alleged the man said, "What's up, scumbag?" He was arrested and spent more than 24 hours in jail.

In a statement read in court Wednesday, Assistant Richmond County District Attorney Darren Albanese said the man "violated a basic social contract which is a lesson taught when we are young — keep your hands to yourself." But the district attorney said proving in court that the man caused physical injury or intended to do so would be "extremely difficult."

The Legal Aid Society’s Staten Island trial office, which represented the man, released a statement Thursday.

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"As we have maintained since this case began, Daniel Gill, who had no prior contact with the criminal legal system, did not commit any criminal act and this outcome, which will ultimately result in the dismissal of the case in its entirety, reflects that reality. Mr. Gill looks forward to putting this incident, which completely upended his life, behind him," said Susan Platis, Staff Attorney with The Legal Aid Society’s Staten Island Trial Office.

Giuliani, a Republican, served as mayor from 1994 to 2001, gaining widespread praise for his leadership after 9/11. Now suspended from practicing law, he served as the personal lawyer for former President Donald Trump and took on a leading role in disputing the results of Trump’s 2020 election loss.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.