Grisanti Denies Being Aggressor

3:12 PM, Feb 14, 2012   |    comments
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Mark Grisanti (R)

NIAGARA FALLS, NY - A couple tells Niagara Falls police that NYS Senator Mark Grisanti became aggressive toward them, after an altercation inside the Seneca Niagara Casino had been quelled late Friday.

Grisanti denied this on Monday, sticking to the account he gave reporters at his home on Saturday.

"What I said when I had everyone over to my house that was the truth," Grisanti told Two On Your Side's Scott Brown, outside of a legislative hearing being held in Albany.

Grisanti has said that late on Friday night, while attending a charity event at the casino with his wife and family, he attempted to intervene in what appeared to a loud argument between two patrons.

He says one of those involved in the dispute in which he attempted to play peacemaker, became enraged and punched him, while two women began throttling his wife, literally ripping the hair from her head, and causing her to suffer a concussion.

Niagara Falls Police Chief John Chella declined to be interviewed on Monday, but provided Two On Your Side with an incident report in which all the names of those involved (as well as witnesses) had been redacted, Chella says, because no one has been charged.

Even though the names are blacked out, the narrative follows pretty closely with Grisanti's account of the events, and his desperate attempt to try and save his wife from being pummeled.

On Monday, Grisanti added that while he threw himself into the fray to save his wife, he may well have thrown a punch or two as well.

"I went in there and I was making these sweeping motions to clear people out. If somebody got hit under any circumstance whatsoever that's too bad, because my wife was on the bottom of that pile. And I would do it again in a heartbeat," Grisanti said.

But also within the police report, was the account of a couple listing an address with a zip code in Irving, who say that after the fight was broken up by hotel security, Grisanti became the aggressor.

Specifically, a woman claims that as she assisted her husband toward a nearby casino elevator, because he couldn't put weight on his knee, Grisanti lunged at him and threw a punch which hit her on the right side of her face.

This past weekend, Grisanti mentioned that one of the men (who he says attacked him) appeared to have suffered a knee injury.

But on Monday he denied making any aggressive moves after the altercation had been quieted, as claimed by the couple.

"No, I didn't hit anybody after the incident at all," Grisanti said.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who spoke to Capital Tonight in Albany says he supports Senator Grisanti.

"I spoke to him Sunday, concerned about his wife," Skelos said. "And it's my understanding that he was attacked, that his wife was attacked. She has a concussion."

"And certainly I don't know exactly what happened, but if it was my wife, and I had to defend her. I would defend her."

Click on the video player to watch our story from Two On Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Photojournalist Andy DeSantis.


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