Over the past year or so, Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa has used his clout as New York City’s most recent Republican mayoral candidate (he lost by 39 points) to become a Fox News regular, often in appearances decrying the Adams administration’s billion-dollar response to the influx of undocumented migrants coming into New York City.
On Tuesday night, Sliwa appeared on Hannity to discuss an Adams’s pilot program that would provide 500 migrants $12-per-day cards to buy food. As is common for most Sliwa appearances on television, several of his vigilante-group members stood by. As Sliwa complained that Adams was “single-handedly destroying this city” and Hannity expressed skepticism about the program’s $53 million price tag, Sliwa’s compadres walked out of the shot at the corner of 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue.
“Our guys have just taken down one of the migrant guys,” Sliwa announced. The Fox camera then panned over to show a scuffle in which the Guardian Angels appeared to be manhandling someone. Sliwa explained that the person had been “shoplifting.” With his standard tough-guy hyperbole, he said that “we gave him a little pain compliance” and that the alleged migrant shoplifter’s “mother back in Venezuela felt the vibrations.”
Also in standard Sliwa fashion, his facts are fuzzy. The New York Post reported Wednesday that the NYPD responded to a 911 call at the corner about a disorderly person. A police spokesperson told the Post that “the male had repeatedly attempted to interfere with and disrupt a live television interview.” The man was then issued a summons for disorderly conduct. It is unclear whether he is even a migrant, much less whether he is from Venezuela. Sliwa did not respond to a request for comment.
The whole spectacle is a reminder of just how unusual the 2021 mayoral primary race was — the vigilante versus the cop. Adams, not to be outdone, tucked his Fendi scarf into a bulletproof vest to join an early-morning police raid in the Bronx.