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May 27, 2009 12:07 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Man cited after altercation with Giuliani on Bridgehampton street

May 27, 2009 12:07 PM

An Amagansett man was arrested Saturday afternoon and charged with harassing former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani after the men had a confrontation on a Bridgehampton street.

Southampton Town Police said 69-year-old John W. McCluskey “repeatedly approached and threatened to hit” Mr. Giuliani, who was crossing Main Street with his wife, Judi Nathan.

Mr. Giuliani told police Mr. McCluskey said to him: “I saw you in an elevator and wanted to punch you in the face, but there were bodyguards around, and I always said if I saw you again I would punch you in the face. In 1982 you ruined my life!” Mr. Giuliani said that he and his wife walked away from Mr. McCluskey, but he followed them across the street and repeated, “I am going to hit you in the face! I am going to hit you!” according to police reports.

As a result, Mr. Giuliani told police he wanted to pursue charges against him for harassment.

Mr. McCluskey offered a different version of events. He said Mr. Giuliani bumped into him while the two men were passing each other in a crosswalk. Recognizing the former mayor, he said he decided to tell Mr. Giuliani what he thought of him. “It was the first time I had the opportunity to tell him what a lowlife he is,” Mr. McCluskey said.

He said his publishing company, Arden Communications, was targeted by the then-U.S. Attorney Giuliani in the 1980s. “Mr. Giuliani was a prosecutor, and he was prosecuting the innocent and the guilty in tax shelter matters that the government had changed the regulations on,” he said. Mr. McCluskey later added: “He never did get a conviction, because I never did anything wrong.”

Attempts to reach Mr. Giuliani through a spokesperson were unsuccessful.

According to Mr. McCluskey, it was Mr. Giuliani who threatened him. He said Mr. Giuliani told him, “Get away from me, or I’ll kick your ass.” In response, Mr. McCluskey said he told Mr. Giuliani he would slap him “upside the head.”

“He actually believes he’s God and nobody should speak to Giuliani in anything but respectful, Godlike terms,” Mr. McCluskey said.

The whole incident was over in the time it took the two men to cross the street, he said. Shortly afterward, at 1:24 p.m., Mr. McCluskey said he was arrested in the parking lot of the Golden Pear. A half hour or so passed between the time police arrived and when they cuffed Mr. McCluskey, Bridgehampton Golden Pear manager Martin Schwenk said on Monday.

“Apparently, Mr. Giuliani filed a complaint with the Southampton Police against me, neglecting to tell them he threatened to kick my ass,” Mr. McCluskey said.

Charged with harassment in the second degree, a violation, he said he wanted to press a counter charge of harassment against Mr. Giuliani, but police refused.

“Before we allow someone to file charges, there has to be probable cause,” Southampton Town Detective Sergeant Randy Hintze said Monday. “[Mr. McCluskey] was the instigator, and Giuliani did absolutely nothing to warrant charges.”

Mr. McCluskey was released on $100 bail. He is scheduled to appear in Southampton Town Justice Court on Wednesday, May 27.

Mr. McCluskey said he has been working for several years on a documentary about the facts preceding the September 11 terrorist attacks—a film that suggests Mr. Giuliani was negligent in handling matters prior to the attack on the World Trade Center—and Mr. Giuliani might have known about the film.

Mr. McCluskey said he will soon turn his focus to suing media outlets he says libeled him in their coverage of the incident. The New York Daily News referred to Mr. McCluskey as an “angry lunatic” and a “Hamptons hothead.” New York Post headlines read that Mr. McCluskey is a “crazed attacker” and an “LI jerk.”

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Giuliani is a low life
By deKooning (84), southampton on May 26, 09 10:14 AM
What was Rudy doing on Main St. anyway? Oh wait, he was buying a rake at Thayers so he could use it for a comb over. Rudy is best
served when he's in drag.
By ride the truth wave (125), southampton on May 26, 09 11:45 AM
I would herby nominate both these jokers as co-morons of the millenium.

Can I get sued for that?
By Mr. Z (9648), North Sea on May 26, 09 11:50 AM
Why would anyone want to own the NY Post or the Daily news?

*shudders*
By C Law (310), Water Mill on May 26, 09 12:27 PM
Why not have Rudy join SH board? He could make sure no one brings their little poodles to work with his "tough on crime" mentality. What a fraud this man is.
By littleplains (305), olde england on May 26, 09 5:43 PM
I am sure his e-wife would have loved to slap him numerous times, cheating bastard. Weasely man. Ugly new wife.
By honor trees (13), east Hampton on May 27, 09 12:46 PM
What does running this story prove? That if you yell at Rudy you will be arrested? What exactly was this guy's crime? Why wouldn't Rudy just walk away and ignore him; why didn't they just duke it out? Why? Because they are both a couple of big mouths with no guts. There a plenty of people walking around with big mouths and no courage; Note to SP Editors: this in and of itself does not constitute a news story. In fact, when you run this crap, you run the risk of exposing yourself as a second ...more
By endthetyranny (2), westhampton on May 27, 09 3:23 PM
These responses are very dissapointing to me. The Hamptons have always been a place where any high profile person could come and be left alone to live their lives. This is a violation by a borderline (9-11 Truther) defective personality bolstered by meanspirited political piffle from the posters.

How sad that even the East End's legendary hospitality is begining to fail.
By Peter3 (1), East Hampton on May 27, 09 3:43 PM
A lot of kooks are popping up on this place. You can't walk around and harass a person and get in their face. Period. Its called harassment ! The kook that was harassing Guliani desrved to be arrested. In my opinion he shoud have been held for phychiatric observation
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on May 27, 09 4:54 PM
Did realize Rudy was hated so much.
By landarchi (33), Southampton on May 27, 09 11:38 PM
Endthetyranny,

This story IS news, so they have to report it. It would be irresponsible not to report it. They're both kooks and so are much of the people out east here in the summer.
By Undertow (64), Southampton on May 28, 09 9:24 AM
Rudy is a bully and a blowhard.Where were his much talked about bodygards,
that a man of his importance was said to need,Thank God his run for office showed what a clown he is.....
By DJ9222 (81), southampton on May 28, 09 6:12 PM
Remnants, area rugs, rolls in stock