In 1991, the New York Daily News reported that Donald Trump stopped a baseball bat–wielding mugger on the streets of New York. At the time, the ever-humble Trump told the tabloid, “I’m not looking to play this thing up. I’m surprised you found out about it.” But now, a witness has come forward to say, well, Trump showed up after the mugging had already ended.
According to the 1991 report, Trump was sitting in his black stretch limo while en route to a Paula Abdul concert (I know!) with his then-wife Marla Maples and another couple in New York City. Someone in the car noticed a mugging happening outside the window, and so (the story goes) Trump heroically told his driver to stop the car, and then he intervened. Per the 1991 report:
“The guy with the bat looked at me, and I said, “Look, you’ve gotta stop this. Put down the bat,”‘ Trump said. “I guess he recognized me because he said, ‘Mr. Trump, I didn’t do anything wrong.’ I said, ‘How could you not do anything wrong when you’re whacking a guy with a bat?’ Then he ran away.”
But on Thursday, the event’s “only known witness” Kathleen Romeo-Nunez, who was 16 at the time of the mugging, told the Daily News that Trump didn’t stop anything. Instead, Trump apparently arrived on the scene at the “tail end of the event” — when the assailant was already running away:
“A car pulls up, he gets out, people acknowledge his presence,” she told the News Thursday. “He’s looking around, seeing what’s going on. Then he got back in and left.”
The story of Trump’s 1991 heroism started recirculating online after he claimed that he would have “run” into the recent school shooting in Florida to save the students who died in the massacre — even if he “didn’t have a weapon.” But as the sole known witness to his supposed last act of bravery, Romeo-Nunez, told the Daily News of Trump’s claim about the shooting, “I highly doubt that he would do that.”