Sat February 11, 2012
State Senator Grisanti & wife punched at Seneca Casino
New York State Senator Mark Grisanti and his wife Marie were punched while at the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls Friday night.
Grisanti told reporters he was attacked as he attempted to break up a fight between two Native American men.
Grisanti and his wife say they were at the Casino to see their daughter sing at the Seneca Diabetes Foundation black-tie gala.
Grisanti said he was punched in the ribs, and then in the side of his head by the men, while his wife was punched and beaten up.
Maria Grisanti told reporters she thought she was going to die as two women jumped on her. She said they had her by the hair and pounded her face repeatedly into the floor.
Grisanti said when the men asked who he was and he identified himself as a state senator, one of the men remarked he had done nothing for the Senecas.
Grisanti’s wife suffered a concussion and was treated and released from the hospital. Grisanti was not seriously injured.
Seneca Nation president Robert Odawi Porter issued the following statement Saturday afternoon to respond to the incident.
“The Seneca Nation has no formal ties to the Diabetes Foundation, nor does Seneca Gaming Corp. and therefore no direct connection to the events that occurred Friday night after the Foundation’s gala.”
“Early this morning, I spoke to Sen. Grisanti to express my concern.
“I was upset to hear about what transpired at our Niagara Falls property in the incident involving several individuals from the Seneca Nation. I want to express my personal sympathies to the senator and his wife Maria, who attended my inauguration on the senator’s behalf in November 2010. We hope she is faring well and is on a speedy path to recovery.
“I would hope for better behavior and conduct from everyone at such an event as this, although it transpired sometime after the gala ended. Sadly, one cannot control individual behavior. On behalf of the Seneca Nation, I extend my heartfelt sympathy to Sen. Grisanti, his wife Maria and their family.”