Members of the anti-crime vigilante group Guardian Angels tackled a man in Times Square on live TV, who they wrongly claimed was a “migrant” because he was speaking Spanish.
During the segment, members of the group stepped off-screen and tackled an unidentified man — pushing him to the ground and putting him in a headlock — who Sliwa claimed had been shoplifting.
“Our guys have just taken down one of the migrant guys on the corner of 42nd and 7th where all of this has taken place,” Sliwa told Hannity. “They’ve taken over!”
In fact, the man was not a migrant — he is actually from the Bronx, police told the Associated Press. There is also no evidence he was shoplifting.
Sliwa told the Associated Press he had thought the man was a migrant because he was “speaking Spanish.”
“He was put down so he wouldn’t hurt himself or anyone else,” said Sliwa, who previously ran for mayor as a Republican.
The man was issued a disorderly conduct summons for being “loud, disorderly and threatening on a crowded sidewalk” and trying to disrupt the interview, police told the New York Times.
Police reportedly did not say whether any of the Guardian Angels would face charges, and did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Independent.
On air Thursday night, Mr Hannity addressed the matter, saying that “the statements made by Curtis that the man is a migrant is not true.”
And in a statement to the Washington Post, Mr Sliwa also acknowledged his “mistake.”
“I shouldn’t have been listening to the crowd,” Mr Sliwa said. “That was my mistake. … I should not have had that knee-jerk reaction.”