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Guardian Angel files harassment complaint against man Curtis Sliwa called ‘migrant’

Guardian Angel Kimberly Torres. (@CurtisSliwa via on X)
Guardian Angel Kimberly Torres. (@CurtisSliwa via on X)

The twisted fiasco surrounding the Guardian Angels’ takedown of a Bronx man in Times Square — who their controversial boss Curtis Sliwa erroneously called a “migrant” and a “shoplifter” — took a new turn Friday when a woman Guardian Angel involved in the altercation filed criminal charges against him.

Guardian Angel Kimberly Torres filed a harassment complaint against the 22-year-old man, who was surrounded and strong-armed to the ground during a live Fox News interview focusing on the city’s migrant crisis that Sean Hannity conducted with Sliwa this week.

In a video released Friday on X, Torres, who identifies herself as a Mexican, a mother and a Muslim, said she was trying to “deescalate the situation” when the Bronxite shoved her.

“He was aggressive, very angry,” Torres explained, getting emotional at times during the video, which she recorded in both English and Spanish. “He took his hands with all his might and all his force pushed me. I went back. At that point, the Guardian Angels saw me hurt. They came to my defense.”

Torres, who wears a Muslim headscarf under her red Guardian Angels beret, is behind Sliwa during the segment and can be seen confronting the pedestrian before the takedown.

As the altercation was filmed, Sliwa identified the man as a “migrant” and a “shoplifter,” although neither were true.

“Our guys have just taken down one of the migrant guys right here on the corner — 42nd [St.] and Seventh [Ave.],” The 2021 GOP mayoral candidate said. “Let’s just say we gave him a little pain compliance. His mother back in Venezuela felt the vibrations. He’s sucking concrete.”

Curtis Sliwa in Brooklyn, New York, Wednesday, January 4, 2023. (Shawn Inglima for New York Daily News)
Curtis Sliwa is pictured in Brooklyn, New York on Wednesday, January 4, 2023. (Shawn Inglima for New York Daily News)

The 22-year-old eventually received a summons for disorderly conduct.

Surveillance video contradicted what Sliwa said. The man the Angels roughed up “may have been a little bit drunk, but he was just trying to make his way down Seventh Ave. when Sliwa’s goons stopped him,” a police source with knowledge of the case said. “He tried to push past them and they strong-arm him to the ground,”

A high-ranking NYPD police official said Torres was recorded on body worn camera saying she didn’t want to file a complaint right after the incident, although she has every right to change her mind and file a complaint at a later date.

It was not immediately clear if the man was facing harassment charges Friday.

Guardian Angel Kimberly Torres. (@CurtisSliwa via on X)
Guardian Angel Kimberly Torres. (@CurtisSliwa via on X)

Police were continuing to painstakingly investigate every aspect of the incident, from the man and the Guardian Angels’ actions to steps taken by responding officers, the police official said.

“It’s a very thorough investigation,” the source said.

Facing a torrent of controversy over his flippant flub, Sliwa gave a half-hearted apology over calling the man a migrant.

“I apologize for miss characterizing the man’s citizenship status, misunderstanding what had caused Guardian Angels to step in,” Sliwa said on X Friday. “The organization and its members would not stand by when someone has hurt a woman, while creating an unsafe situation for all.”

Feb. 9, 2024: Prime time vigilantes
Front page for Friday, Feb. 9, 2024: Prime time vigilantes
New York Daily News
Front page for Friday, Feb. 9, 2024: Prime time vigilantes- Outrage over Guardian Angels’ takedown as video contradicts Sliwa story, say cop sources. DA Alvin Bragg called the incident involving members of the Guardian Angels, led by Curtis Sliwa (photo), “disturbing.”

Sliwa, a conservative talk radio staple, has courted controversy throughout his time in the limelight.

In 1992, he admitted to having faked several crimes years earlier, including his own kidnapping, to gain publicity and spotlight dangers in the subway system.

This week’s incident added fuel to already high tensions in New York City as officials struggle to handle an ongoing rise in migrant arrivals for more than a year.

A group of migrants attacked two NYPD officers outside a shelter in Times Square on Jan. 27, sparking outrage.

There’s also been heated debate over the city’s shelter and benefits policies for the new arrivals. A growing number of progressives have voiced concern over the prospect of anti-migrant bigotry sweeping the city.

The Guardian Angels, which Sliwa launched in the 1970s to fight rampant subway crime, have long had a tense relationship with police.

City progressives have called for the tables to be turned on the Angels, with some saying they committed a hate crime, but Sliwa rejected the suggestion Friday.

“No Guardian Angel, a majority minority organization, would ever have provoked an attack based on who someone is or where they came from,” he said. “They responded to a man intentionally being disruptive, aggressive towards film crew members, the crowd and unfortunately put his hands on a female.”