State Senator Mark Grisanti, Wife, Attacked at Casino

February 11, 2012 Updated Feb 12, 2012 at 10:00 PM EDT

...
February 11, 2012 Updated Feb 12, 2012 at 10:00 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - New York State Senator Mark Grisanti and his wife Maria say they were the victim's of a brutal attack at the Seneca Niagara Casino Friday night.

Grisanti tells Eyewitness News that he and his family were attending an event at the casino to watch his daughter sing with the Scinta's, a popular performing group at the casino.

It was after this event, in a lobby bar, that the senator and his wife say there were attacked, after Grisanti tried to intervene in an argument between two men.

"He asked me who I was....I said I'm Mark Grisanti I'm a state senator and he made a comment like 'you haven't done blank for the Seneca's' and punched me in the ribs. And then as I backed up I got hit in the side of the head," Grisanti described at a press conference held at his North Buffalo house Saturday afternoon.

"I said, 'I don't understand why you just punched me, I don't have a problem with the Seneca's', and then that's when I looked over and somebody said, 'mark you wife is on the ground and she was being attacked violently," Grisanti continued.

His wife, Maria, was coming to the aid of her husband, she says, when she was suddenly struck and thrown to the ground.

"I don't know what hit me..all I knew is I hit the ground and I was down with two girls on top of me," she recalls.

"I thought I was going to die on the ground, and my kids were there."

Maria Grisanti was taken to Kenmore Mercy Hospital by her husband after the altercation where she underwent an MRI.

Doctors told her she has a concussion, as well as a large bruise on the side of her head and an abrasion on the bridge of her nose.

Niagara Falls Police are not commenting on the case, but they said there is currently no one in custody. They released the following statement Saturday evening:

"At this time the Niagara Falls Police Department is reviewing the situation and investigating any and all facts to determine what exactly took place. This includes interviewing those involved as well as Seneca Casino employees and video footage.

"Once the facts are determined, the Niagara Falls Police Department will decide what course of action to take, if any."

Seneca Nation of Indians President Robert Odawi Porter released the following statement Saturday:

"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."

The Grisanti's did not say whether or not they intend to press charges against their attackers.

Senator Grisanti also said that Nation President Porter told him that he would conduct an internal investigation into the matter.