An incident involving New York State Supreme Court judge Mark Grisanti and his wife Maria has raised eyebrows after they appear to have received special treatment from the police. WKBW News in Buffalo, New York reported on an incident where Maria Grisanti allegedly got into a physical altercation with two neighbors. She and her husband were handcuffed and taken away by the police only for the neighbors to discover that no arrest had been made. Did Grisanti and his wife get the ‘ol “Get Out of Jail Free” card? Given the current political climate with racial injustice being called into question, it’s a question that’s more important than ever. Also note this incident occurred in Buffalo, NY which has a police department known for its incompetency if not outright corruption.
According to the WKBW report:
The fight, which appears to have erupted after a dispute over a parking spot in front of the Grisanti home, was caught on a surveillance camera mounted on the neighbors’ home.
7 Eyewitness News viewed the footage, which shows Grisanti and his wife, Maria, walk onto the driveway of Gina Mele and her husband. The Meles live across the street on Duluth Avenue. Pushing and shoving ensues before punches are thrown and a string of expletives are unleashed by both parties.
“They started swearing, ‘Move this F-ing truck,” Mele said. “Mark and Maria came over, onto our property, in our driveway…my husband came down from the porch, Maria physically pushed my husband, she punched my husband in the face. I came off the porch, told her not to touch my husband, and she bit my husband’s arm and would not release.”
An Odd Response. What has the neighbors confused is why Mark and Maria Grisanti were not arrested. According to the Channel 7 report:
At one point in the video, Maria Grisanti can be seen being put in a Buffalo police cruiser in handcuffs. Mark Grisanti, who engaged in a struggle with Joseph Mele, is shirtless and shouting in front of his house. Mele said Mark Grisanti was also placed into a police cruiser.
Mele said police officers at the scene handcuffed Grisanti and his wife after she said they allegedly resisted officers. She said officers at the scene told her to call Buffalo Police back the next day to get a police report. Mele said she did so but was told there was no report because there were no arrests.
Mele said she did not understand why Grisanti and his wife were not arrested on site if they resisted police officers.
“This isn’t the first time I’ve had an incident with them that things have been brushed under the rug,” Mele said. “That makes me think there’s something going on.”
Naturally, a situation like this raises question of preferential treatment and if true, is another reason why the criminal justice system is in need of reform.
The Family that Drinks Together. Allegations of alcohol-fueled hijinks are not new for Mark Grisanti and it appears his wife may have joined him in the cocktails and chaos club. Consider this story from when he sat as a New York State Senator and was involved in a dust-up at a local casino owned and operated by the Seneca Nation.
The case fizzled out, with the website Gothamist.com noting:
No charges will be filed against any of the parties involved in a bizarre casino brawl involving Republican State Senator Mark Grisanti, his wife Maria, and members of the Seneca Nation. According to The Buffalo News, the Niagara County DA’s office and the Niagara Falls Police Department released a joint statement announcing, “This case is closed.”
The outcome is a common one for drunken brawls, as most of those involved are either reluctant to testify or were too intoxicated to do so credibly, and in this case insults were hurled from both sides (as were punches: Maria Grisanti suffered a concussion from the beating).
A Simple Misunderstanding or Something More? Of course, this could just be a case of a law-abiding individual who only appears to have connections (whether it’s falling into a cushy six-figure job after losing his state Senate seat or getting a lucrative position as a judge) being misunderstood and the police giving him a break. Then again, it’s also arguable some phone calls were made and what may be the local equivalent of Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson walked back to their taxpayer-assisted lifestyle after a brief cruise with the local boys in blue.
Marital Bliss? If (and this is mere speculation) the Grisantis enjoy a few (or more) adult beverages, it could be the key to a good relationship. A 2016 article from Cosmopolitan suggested:
A new study has shown that couples who get drunk together are happier. But seeing as booze is lovely, is that any great surprise really?
According to the study published in the Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Series, the secret to a happy relationship could be booze-based.
The researchers surveyed 4,864 married people, with couples having been together for an average of 33 years, to discover how drinking affects relationships.
Whether or not this is the case, it’s likely the Grisantis’ neighbors aren’t so happy if the latest allegations are accurate. In any event, here is some classic advice for anyone to follow:
Channel 7 investigative reporter Charlie Specht noted the case was sent to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office. However, no reason was given why an arrest was not made.