After news broke that multiple officers failed to confront the gunman in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school shooting earlier this month, President Donald Trump called the handling of the situation by the sheriff’s office “disgusting.”
The president harshly criticized now-resigned sheriff’s deputy Scot Peterson for hiding as the shots rang out, calling him a “coward” who “certainly did a poor job.”
“I got to watch some deputy sheriffs performing this weekend. They weren’t exactly medal of honor winners. The way they performed was frankly disgusting,” Trump said at the White House on Monday.
Trump chastised the officers’ cowardice further, saying he would’ve run in the school to confront the shooter even without a weapon.
“I really believe I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon, and I think most of the people in this room would’ve done that too,” Trump said. “But the way they performed was really a disgrace.”
A story from 1991 that has resurfaced reveals that Trump might actually have done what he claimed he would, according to The Daily Caller.
On Nov. 18, 1991, The New York Daily News reported that Trump stopped a mugging that he had witnessed while riding in his limousine.
According to The Daily Caller, he was with his then-wife Marla Maples on their way a Paula Abdul concert when they came upon the mugging.
“Someone in the car looked over and said, ‘Gee look at that, it’s a mugging,'” Trump said to the Daily News. “I said to my driver to stop the car because it was brutal-looking.”
He got out of the car and approached “a big guy with a big bat” who delivered five or six “good whacks” before Trump arrived, according to his 1991 recount.
“The guy with the bat looked at me, and I said, ‘Look, you’ve gotta stop this. Put down the bat,'” he told the Daily News. “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.”
One witness, Kathleen Romeo, disputed his tale.
“A lot of people were surprised that he got out to see what was happening,” she said. According to Romeo, the bat-wielder had already run off and Trump “just looked around and went back into his limo.”
However, an unidentified witness confirmed Trump’s story to the Daily News.
“There was a guy with a bat, hitting a guy over the head, and Trump yelled, ‘Put that bat down. What are you doing?'” the witness said. “The guy dropped the bat, came over and started talking to him.”
The original story is available in the archives of the Philadelphia Inquirer and screenshots are available online.
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