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Grisanti scuffle: different versions of what occurred

WBFO News file phoo
NYS Senator Mark Grisanti & wife, Maria

Police say they do not expect to file charges following Friday night's scuffle involving State Senator Mark Grisanti.

The senator was attending a fundraiser with the wife at the Seneca Niagara Casino.  Both of them were roughed up when Grisanti tried to intervene in a dispute between to men. 

Senator Grisanti, however, said his wife was in danger.  And given the situation, he behaved appropriately in order to protect her.

"My wife was being attacked and security kept restraining me and I had to keep breaking away from security because they wanted to remove me as a senator...and I went in there and I was making sweeping motions to move, clear people out.  If somebody got hit in any circumstance whatsoever, it's too bad because my wife was on the bottom of that pile and I would do it again in a heartbeat," said Grisanti. 

Although criminal charges are not not likely, other claims are surfacing. 

John Kane, who hosts a radio program called Let's Talk Native, said he watched a video recorded by Corine Thompson, who was at the Casino on the night of the fight, and appeared recently as a guest on his show.

One witness claimed the senator shouted a racial slur at a black security guard during the altercation. 

A statement from Grisanti's office says that a review of the video recording proves the senator used no racial epithet.

The following is the full statement issued by Grisanti's Senate office:

Statement by Doug Curella
Chief of Staff to Senator Mark Grisanti

"The video released tonight is consistent with what Senator Mark Grisanti has stated previously. It is also consistent with the police report that was filed regarding the incident. Additionally, the Buffalo News has confirmed after watching the video that the Senator used no racial epithets during the incident. This video shows only the final few minutes of a prolonged altercation on Senator Grisanti and his wife. People need to read the complete police report, which was taken moments after the altercation, to understand the totality of the incident - including the attack on Mrs. Grisanti. 

As for the interview earlier today with WGRZ-TV, Senator Grisanti believed the reporter was asking about the entire incident that evening, including the altercation on the video.  Senator Grisanti never denied throwing punches in the police report and subsequent interviews."

Senator Grisanti is disputing a woman's claim that he punched both her and her husband as they left the Casino Friday night following a fundraising event.  The fight left him with bruised ribs and his wife Maria suffered a concussion.  Grisanti said he was trying to defuse an argument between two men at the casino when he was punched in the chest and head. 

But some Native Americas are now speaking out against Grisanti's claims.  John Kane is the host of a local radio program called "Let's Talk Native".  Kane is upset at some national headlines that  he calls prejudice against Native Americans.  

WBFO'S Eileen Buckley says Kane reviewed a recorded video clip of some of the dispute recorded by a woman who was at the casino.