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Charges downgraded against supermarket employee accused of slapping Rudy Giuliani

“Our client merely patted Mr. Giuliani, who sustained nothing remotely resembling physical injuries,” Legal Aid said in a statement about ShopRite employee Daniel Gill.

Charges against the man accused of slapping Rudy Giuliani on the back were downgraded Monday, the day Giuliani called for him to be fired and prosecuted.

Daniel Gill, 39, an employee of the ShopRite supermarket in Staten Island where Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, was campaigning for his son Sunday, was initially charged with second-degree assault.

However, prosecutors reduced the charge to misdemeanor assault with intent to cause physical injury, according to court records. Two other misdemeanor counts, third-degree menacing and second-degree harassment, were added, records show.

Gill was released on his own recognizance Monday following a hearing and is scheduled to return to court Aug. 17, according to court records. 

Legal Aid, which is representing Gill, characterized the encounter as merely a pat on the back — not a dramatic slap.

"Our client merely patted Mr. Giuliani, who sustained nothing remotely resembling physical injuries, without malice to simply get his attention, as the video footage clearly showed," Legal Aid said in a statement.

The statement said Gill was “followed and threatened” by one of Giuliani’s associates, who “allegedly poked Mr. Gill in the chest and told him that he was going to be ‘locked up.’”

"Given Mr. Giuliani’s obsession with seeing his name in the press and his demonstrated propensity to distort the truth, we are happy to correct the record on exactly what occurred over the weekend on Staten Island," the statement concluded.

Store security video published by the New York Post shows someone coming up behind Giuliani inside the store and placing a hand on his back without much reactive movement by Giuliani. 

He said Monday that he stopped at the ShopRite to campaign for his son, Andrew, who is running for the Republican nomination for governor of New York, and that he was talking to people when he felt the smack on his back. In a video on his Facebook page, he described it as if “a boulder hit me” and said that “it hurt tremendously.”

Giuliani added he intended to see a doctor, although he did not require immediate medical attention after the incident, police said at the time.

“I’m in good shape for a 78-year-old. He could’ve easily ... knocked me to the ground and killed me by my head getting hit,” Giuliani said.

He said the suspect yelled “dirty curse words” at him and accused him of being a “lady killer,” touching upon the Supreme Court ruling Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade, a decision that eliminates the broadly supported constitutional right to abortion.

"I believe you let Mr. Gill go, a lot more of these crazy pro-choice people are going to start attacking people,” Giuliani said.

NBC News has reached out to the Staten Island district attorney's office for comment on the charges. Giuliani has not weighed in on the matter since the charges were reduced.

A spokesperson for ShopRite said Monday that Gill has been suspended pending termination. 

“We are aware that an incident instigated by a store associate involving former Mayor Rudy Giuliani took place at our store on Staten Island on Sunday. Store security observed the incident, reacted swiftly and the police were notified,” the statement said. “We have zero tolerance for aggression toward anyone.”

NBC News has asked reached out to Gill’s attorney for comment. Gill's family did not respond to requests for comment Monday.