NY state senator, wife attacked at casino

Feb. 12, 2012 at 12:32 PM
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NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y., Feb. 12 (UPI) -- New York state Sen. Mark Grisanti and his wife were attacked at a Niagara Falls casino while attempting to break up a fight, police said.

Mark Grisanti, R-Buffalo, and Maria Grisanti were at the Seneca Niagara Casino to attend an event at which Maria's daughter Ashlee Amoia was singing Friday night, The Buffalo News reported Saturday.

After the event, a fight between two Seneca Nation businessmen broke out at the bar. When Mark Grisanti stepped in to break up the altercation, at least one man, Eric White, punched him in the ribs and back of the head.

"He looked at me and said, 'You haven't done [expletive] for the Senecas,' and then he punched me in the ribs," Mark Grisanti said one of the men said.

Two women then knocked Maria Grisanti to the ground and punched her and repeatedly slammed her head to the floor, the News said. One woman, whose name was not reported, was charged with disorderly contact -- no other arrests were reported.

"I spoke to the senator today," Niagara Falls Police Superintendent John R. Chella said. "I'll know a lot more Monday when I review the reports."

Maria Grisanti spent one night at Kenmore Mercy Hospital after suffering a concussion and a badly bruised nose in the attack, the paper said.

"I thought I had a great relationship with the Senecas," Mark Grisanti said. "When I ran, they supported me and gave me their highest rating."

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