- Reuters/Carlos Barria
- President Donald Trump claimed that he stopped a mugging in 1991, but the only named witness to the event said he did no such thing.
- Trump’s alleged role in stopping the mugging has come back into the spotlight after he claimed he would have rushed in to the Florida high school shooting earlier this month even if he didn’t have a weapon.
- The witness said Trump arrived after the mugging had already ended.
Twenty-seven years ago, President Donald Trump claimed he stepped out of a limo in midtown Manhattan and stopped a mugger from brutally beating someone up with a baseball bat.
But the only identified witness to the event poked a huge hole in it on Thursday.
According to the New York Daily News, Trump was going to see singer Paula Abdul’s concert in New York in November 1991 with his second wife Marla Maples when their car drove by the mugging. Trump reportedly asked the driver to stop and got out to confront the mugger.
“The guy with the bat looked at me, and I said, ‘Look, you’ve gotta stop this. Put down the bat,'” Trump told the Daily News at the time. “I guess he recognized me because he said, ‘Mr. Trump, I didn’t do anything wrong.’ I said, ‘How could you not do anything wrong when you’re whacking a guy with a bat?’ Then he ran away.”
The story has received renewed traction lately after Trump claimed that he would have confronted the shooter in last month’s horrifying school shooting in Florida – with or without a weapon.
“I really believe I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon,” Trump said at a meeting with state governors this week.
Everything about this is so good down to the Paula Abdul concert. pic.twitter.com/5jeL3RC3Fp
— Luke O'Neil (@lukeoneil47) February 27, 2018
Trump’s heroism put into question
But the only identified witness of the mugging, Kathleen Romeo-Nunez, said Trump had no role in stopping it because he showed up just as it was ending, the Daily News reported.
“He came at the tail end of the event,” said Romeo-Nunez, who was 16 years old at the time and had just come out of a store on 45th Street in Manhattan.
She added Trump had “no opportunity” to intervene.
“A car pulls up, he gets out, people acknowledge his presence,” she said. “He’s looking around, seeing what’s going on. Then he got back in and left.”
Romeo-Nunez said that the mugger was already fleeing the scene as Trump’s limo arrived, and the two never spoke to each other. She also said she didn’t know who the witness mentioned in the Daily News’s original story was, but said the account he or she gave was inaccurate.
When asked what she thought of Trump’s claim that he would have personally rushed into the Florida high school to stop the shooter, Romeo-Nunez said she wasn’t convinced
“I highly doubt that he would do that,” she said.