Zeldin supporter choked by man at Hochul rally, tussles with NYC councilwoman


A woman protesting at a Manhattan rally for Governor Kathy Hochul was choked by another person in attendance Saturday evening, footage shows.  

The video, posted by Viral News New York, shows the moments when a supporter of Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin was attacked by at least two people while protesting the Governor’s campaign appearance. 

Hochul was holding an event alongside Bravo’s Andy Cohen near the Stonewall Inn.

In the video, a man in shorts and a plaid shirt can be seen choking the woman, now identified as Angelica Torres, who was wearing a black sweatshirt.

The man in the plaid shirt and the woman to the left of him were both accused of physically harming the woman in the black sweatshirt as she protested Gov. Hochul’s rally in NYC

New York gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin

New York Governor Kathy Hochul

Tensions remain high in the final days of the campaign for New York’s governorship between Republican Lee Zeldin and Democrat Kathy Hochul

Also involved in the physical altercation was Councilwoman Crystal Hudson, a Democrat. Hudson represents Prospect Heights in Brooklyn. 

An individual with Viral News New York spoke with Torres who was choked. After the incident, she claimed she ‘never wanted to get physical.’

‘I was here holding my sign, and — peaceful protest, against you know, Gov. Hochul, and a woman — a very large heavyset woman, I’m assuming, you know, might have been a man — came and took my sign,’ the woman told the outlet.

It’s unclear what led to the altercation as the beginning of the fight was not caught on video. 

‘As I was trying to retrieve my sign, there was another man that came and choked me, and there were two other people that were coming and preventing me from trying to get my sign,’ she said. 

Torres, seen wearing a ‘vote them out’ sign with pictures of Hochul and other Democrats running in the November election, said she had no intention of doing anything but peacefully protesting. 

‘[I] never wanted to get physical with anyone, I was just there peacefully just holding my sign, and you know, they didn’t want to hear what I had to say,’ she said. 

Torres also spoke with FOX News Sunday, saying she was upset she was attacked for having a difference of opinion.  

‘I was very shocked and upset that I couldn’t express my opinions openly without violence. Crime and violence is a big issue in our city,’ she said. 

Torres also said that she sought medical treatment and reported the incident to the police. 

Photos taken after the incident showed the man appearing to speak with police officers. It is unknown if he has been arrested and charged, however. 

The woman told Viral News New York she just wanted to peacefully protest outside Hochul's rally near the Stonewall Inn Saturday night

The woman told Viral News New York she just wanted to peacefully protest outside Hochul’s rally near the Stonewall Inn Saturday night

Photos taken after the incident showed the unidentified man speaking with NYPD officers after the assault occurred

Photos taken after the incident showed the unidentified man speaking with NYPD officers after the assault occurred

The initial video that shows the woman being choked is just 24 seconds long but has nearly 300,000 views on Twitter. 

Those on the social media appp who saw the video were quick to react to the incident, calling out Hochul and her supporters for the violence. 

‘Yet Hochul says there’s no rise in crime,’ said one Twitter user.

‘This was awful,’ wrote one person. 

‘Third world politics in action,’ responded another. 

The Saturday incident came just hours after Zeldin was confronted at his own rally by Hochul supporters who accused him of using rape to ‘promote his campaign.’ 

The group was referencing Zeldin’s choice to hold a speech at the scene of an horrific sex attack in the West Village.

Screaming protesters waved boards daubed with messages which branded Zeldin ‘as dangerous as Trump’ as they disrupted the campaign event on Friday.

Zeldin delivered a speech at the riverside location where a woman was choked, raped and robbed a day earlier.

Outrage over the attack grew after it emerged the suspect, homeless man Carl Phanor, has 25 prior arrests and was also wanted for at least two other sex crimes in the city.

Protesters screamed over Zeldin's campaign speech at the scene of a rape in the West Village

Protesters screamed over Zeldin’s campaign speech at the scene of a rape in the West Village

Phanor’s criminal past prompted furious questions about why he was free to prowl the streets and allegedly launch the attack.

Zeldin hit back at the protesters on Twitter: ‘There is no crime emergency’ Kathy Hochul’s people scream out at the site of yet another rape yesterday in the Big Apple.

‘These protestors & their far-left, pro-criminal agenda have somehow managed to dangerously set the agenda in the NYC Council & Albany.’

The attack on the jogger is part of an alarming rise in crime that continues to plague New York City, where violent incidents are up nearly 30 percent compared to last year.

Zeldin said rising crime under Hochul's watch meant New Yorkers were 'forced to live in fear'

Zeldin said rising crime under Hochul’s watch meant New Yorkers were ‘forced to live in fear’

Crime continues to run rampant in the Big Apple, with violent offenses up nearly 30 percent

Crime continues to run rampant in the Big Apple, with violent offenses up nearly 30 percent

So far this year, police have reported 1,384 cases of rape in the city, up nearly 11 percent from the same time last year.

Felony assaults are also up by nearly 14 percent, with 21,767 cases reported so far this year, and robberies are up more than 32 percent compared to last year.

There have been 102,914 serious offenses reported since the beginning of the year, compared with 78,892 in the same period of 2021, the latest NYPD data reveals.

Speaking after, Zeldin said he chose to hold the event at the scene of Thursday’s attack because of the ‘impact in shocking the local community’.

Zeldin's rival, current governor Kathy Hochul, has been criticized for her silence about the rape

Zeldin’s rival, current governor Kathy Hochul, has been criticized for her silence about the rape

The most recent outbursts at the rallies comes at a critical point in the campaign for the governorship. 

With just days to go, polling from the Trafalgar Group showed Hochul and Zeldin in a nearly neck and neck race. 

The poll showed each both candidates with 48 percent of the vote. Hochul’s average lead is still about 4 per cent in other polling, however.

A recent poll put New York Governor Hochul and Zeldin neck and neck in the governor race

A recent poll put New York Governor Hochul and Zeldin neck and neck in the governor race

Since winning his party’s nomination back in March, Zeldin has made his ‘tough on crime’ stances well known.

‘It’s about restoring order, it’s about backing the blue,’ Zeldin told convention attendees.

‘This is a rescue mission to save our state that will be successful.’ 

Zeldin called for a law enforcement bill of rights that would ensure police officers have the right to self-defense.

He has also vowed to repeal criminal justice reforms passed by the Democratic-led Legislature in recent years, including a 2019 law that barred money bail and pretrial detention for most misdemeanor and nonviolent felony charges.



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