A New York City newspaper publisher attacked a New York state senator and a Christine Quinn campaign volunteer at a rally in front of the former St. Vincent’s Hospital building in Greenwich Village today.
George Capsis, the listed publisher of the West Village’s WestView News, slapped State Senator Brad Hoylman in the face and hit another Quinn supporter in the face, according to published reports. Capsis later told reporters that he was a supporter of Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
Capsis said that he was incensed by the hospital’s closure in 2010, noting that his wife had died two days ago at a hospital in the Bronx an hour and a half away from his home.
“If this hospital had existed, I could have walked two blocks and spent time with her in the last hours of her life,” Capsis said.
Quinn’s supporters held the rally in front of the former hospital to blast de Blasio and promote Quinn’s record on fighting the hospital’s closure. That rally was held about an hour before de Blasio was scheduled to hold a press conference of his own in front of the hospital.
Quinn released a statement later today denouncing the attack. She said that everyone involved was “doing fine.”
“I am deeply upset over the reports I have received about acts of violence directed at a campaign intern and State Senator Brad Hoylman at a campaign event they held on my behalf this morning,” Quinn said.
“There is no place in this City — let alone a political campaign — for violence or intimidation of any kind. I condemn in the strongest possible terms any individual, group, or campaign that would commit or condone such repugnant behaviour, and would urge every campaign or individual involved in the mayor’s race to do the same.”
According to Capital New York, de Blasio addressed Capsis’ slaps when he arrived at the site later, urging his supporters to be “respectful” and “peaceful” in dissent. De Blasio has long sought to contrast his record with Quinn’s on the issue of closing the hospital.
You can watch video of Capsis’ slap of Hoylman here:
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