On February 10, the Seneca Nation Casino at Niagara Falls, owned by the Seneca Indian Nation, was raising money and awareness for the Seneca Diabetes Foundation with figurehead attendees like Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-NY, and his wife. Fundraising events like this are always for the good, but the events that followed have overshadowed the event as Grisanti and his wife were attacked.
According to the Associated Press, Grisanti and his wife were in the Niagara Casino hotel and came across two men arguing. The first-time senator representing the Buffalo area, tried to break it up and proceeded to be accused of hating the Seneca Nation before being attacked.
The constant fight in the courts between the Seneca Nation and New York State has been well publicized, as New York Mayor Andrew Cuomo continues to push for taxes from tribal land.
Grisanti, ended up with bruised ribs, but his wife was diagnosed with a concussion and a broken nose. The AP story reports two women who were with the arguing men, attacked Grisanti’s wife, while the men attacked Grisanti.
“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,” said Seneca Nation President Robert Odawi Porter in an official statement.
The attackers were not detained and surveillance footage has been reported as “inconclusive.” The Niagara Falls Police Department is currently looking into the matter.
“At this time the Niagara Falls Police Department is reviewing the situation and investigating any and all facts to determine what exactly took place,” John Chella, the superintendent of police there, said in a statement reported by the New York Times.
The AP reports that Grisanti said that he does not blame the tribe for what happened.