The 66-year-old founder of the Guardian Angels organization, Curtis Sliwa and a newly-joined member of the group were both attacked and injured this week while “on the job” protecting stores from George Floyd rioters and looters after the start of the 8 pm curfew.
— Matthew Chayes (@chayesmatthew) June 3, 2020
Sliwa is a longtime law and order advocate whose top goal is to defend the community while maintaining order together with the members of his Guardian Angels team. They’re easy to spot with their red berets and jackets and although they all look like bikers, none of them are armed. They’ve patrolled the worst neighborhoods of the city and helped those in need since 1979, today in more than 130 cities across the United States and in places around the world as well.
But on Tuesday night, that rule about remaining unarmed led to Sliwa himself and a second member of the group — Aram Sabet, a newbie to the organization with only nine weeks under his belt — themselves becoming victims of some of the more vicious elements among the George Floyd rioters who have been staying out past curfew in New York City in order to trash and loot as many stores as possible.
“We were in SoHo working our way down Broadway when we heard about looters trying to get into a Footlocker, and we immediately ran to that location,” Sliwa told Fox News. That was around 8 pm, just as the curfew was starting.
Sabet told Eyewitness News7, “They literally surrounded us … with bats, hammers, crowbars, metal bats.” Eventually, Sliwa and his team managed to force the gang to drop the loot; they went up the street, vowing to be back later.
They were good to their word, returning two hours later having changed into all black clothing and wearing backpacks. They had also brought along another 100 thugs to help them as well.
About an hour later, they appeared again, and this time their mob had tripled to about 300 goons, most armed with hammers, lock cutters, claw hammers, metal bats, machetes, crowbars, and similar items.
Sliwa, who stood outside the store, said “They started swinging at us. But we were not going to let them get inside. We were slamming and jamming quite a few of them. They were throwing glass bottles filled with liquids as well as bricks and rocks.”
Sliwa’s group managed to hold out until NYPD forces arrived about an hour later. Both he and Sabet were then rushed to Bellevue Hospital in the heart of the city.
Sabet has a broken eye socket; he had forty-eight stitches with injuries to the eyebrow, left sinus shattered, a broken nose, a chipped tooth, and lost the sight in his left eye. Sliwa, who got hit with a ball hammer, has a linear fracture in his jaw.
Despite the injuries, Sliwa told reporters that he and his Angels weren’t deterred. “We train for these kinds of things. We won’t fold. We are defiant,” he said. “We want to make a difference in these neighborhoods.”