Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa blasts ‘thugs’ who broke his jaw when they hit him with a hammer during clash between his volunteer vigilantes and ‘hundreds’ of looters ransacking a New York FootLocker
- Curtis Sliwa and his Guardian Angels fought off three waves of looters trying to steal from a FootLocker athletic shoe store in New York Tuesday
- Sliwa says he and members of his civilian safety patrol fought off the looters from stealing from the store in New York’s Soho neighborhood
- Sliwa, who took a blow to the chin with a hammer during the confrontation that night, says the looters started off as a small group of about 35 people
- However, they returned in larger numbers after being fought off and numbered as high 300 during the worst of the melee which followed George Floyd protests
- Guardian Angel Aram Sabet was left with a broken eye socket and broken nose, and requiring 48 stitches
Curtis Sliwa said he and his Guardian Angels clashed with hundreds of looters as they tried to steal from a FootLocker athletic shoe store in New York’s Soho neighborhood after George Floyd protests Tuesday night.
Sliwa, the 66-year-old founder of the civilian safety patrol, says he took a hit in the jaw with a hammer during the melee that held off three waves of ‘thugs’.
He claimed victory after the confrontation with the looters, although the clash did cost Guardian Angel Aram Sabet vision in his left eye when he suffered a broken eye socket and broken nose. His injuries required 48 stitches.
Curtis Sliwa said he and his Guardian Angels clashed with hundreds of looters as they tried to steal from a FootLocker athletic shoe store in New York’s Soho neighborhood after George Floyd protests Tuesday night. He is picture after the confrontation in a televised interview
Sliwa claimed victory after the confrontation with the looters, although the clash did cost Guardian Angel Aram Sabet (pictured) vision in his left eye when he suffered a broken eye socket and broken nose. His injuries required 48 stitches
Looters enter and leaving the FootLocker in an image of video footage taken of confrontation
In the footage, a man in a red jacket appears to be pushed out of the store in the confrontation
‘They literally surrounded us,’ he told ABC 7, estimating the number of people by this point in the confrontation had risen to 150.
Sliwa was left with a linear facture in his jaw, but was still claiming a win.
‘It was an all out They did not gain a foot. They did not gain a yard,’ Sliwa said during an interview with Fox News, about the confrontation.
He said he was with about six Guardian Angels when they learned around 8pm Tuesday that looters were spotted targeting the FootLocker. When they arrived, Sliwa says they found about 35 people stealing from the store.
The Guardian Angels were able to get the looters to drop what they had stolen and chased them away. Sliwa says the safety patrol then remained protecting the store until the looters made their return.
‘They came back for a second bite of the apple,’ he says, describing the group which had returned about two hours later numbering as high as 100 people.
‘We fought them and I got hit with a hammer,’ he recalled of the second wave, which again he said the Guardian Angels were able to fight back.
The Guardian Angels got the looters to drop what they had stolen and chased them away. Sliwa says the safety patrol remained protecting the store until the looters made their return. They are pictured outside the store from a social media post made by Mohamad Bazzi
Guardian Angels are seen standing outside the FootLocker in a social media post made by Matthew Chayes after the confrontation
Sliwa’s group, unarmed and trained in martial arts, then faced off a larger and still-determined crowd of looters that returned in a third wave around 10:45 p.m.
‘They came back with a vengeance. It was about 300! No cops in sight,’ Sliwa told Fox News.
Sliwa says he remembers the the looters carrying ball peen hammers and claw hammers, which they used for breaking locks and smashing windows. Again, his Guardian Angels were able to fend off the mob, he says.
‘We know that when you take a stand there, and you make the kind of stand that we do, there’s going to be retribution. There’s going to be retaliation,’ Sliwa says.
‘And you cannot sacrifice an inch of ground,’ he adds. ‘Or the whole city goes up.’
Sliwa, who announced he will run for mayor as a Republican in 2021, started the Guardian Angels as an unarmed, crime prevention volunteer organization to combat crime in New York City’s subways. The group, best known for wearing red berets and red jackets, has since expanded to 130 cities and 13 countries.
Sliwa was critical of the NYPD’s response to similar looting around the city, which had to impose its first curfew in more than 75 years
Sliwa is pictured before the confrontation leading Guardian Angels through New York’s Soho
He was critical of the NYPD’s response to similar looting around the city, which had to impose its first curfew in more than 75 years to curtail destruction of property and looting which followed after the police-related killing of Floyd in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.
While Mayor Bill de Blasio insisted the city would put a stop to the violence and vandalism that have marred largely peaceful mass demonstrations surrounding Floyd’s death, both President Donald Trump and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have laid into the city’s handling of the mayhem.
Cuomo said the mayor was underestimating the problem and the nation’s largest police force wasn’t deployed in sufficient numbers, though the city had said it doubled the usual police presence.
Mayor Bill de Blasio insisted the city would stop the violence and vandalism that have marred largely peaceful mass demonstrations after Floyd’s death. Still President Donald Trump and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo still criticized the city’s handling of the mayhem
Sliwa also took aim at New York’s ‘no-bail law’, which went into effect at the start of the year.
The law doesn’t require a bond to hold a suspect accused of non-violent felonies, including robbery, a move which many in law enforcement consider ill-advised because it allows for the potential of more crime. Sliwa similarly said that because of the law, looters arrested are allowed ‘back out on the streets to come loot again.’
He said that’s why people who ‘dare to care’ should come forward, as the Guardian Angels have to take a stand against the looters, whom he said also included out-of-towners he noticed who had come in from New Jersey.
‘They gotta fight these thugs and they gotta fight these looters because they think they own our city,’ he says. ‘I’ll tell them ‘Who’s your daddy. I’m your daddy. Curtis Sliwa.”
‘You’re not going to (get) another inch,’ Sliwa says speaking directly to the looters. ‘This is our city. Not your city. And that’s where it ends.’
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