New York
President of Seneca Nation apologizes for incident at casino

Seneca Nation President Robert Odawi Porter apologized to state Sen. Mark Grisanti (R) and his wife, who were involved in a scuffle at one of the tribe's casinos.

Grisanti said he tried to stop a fight between two men, whom he identified as tribal members. One of them reportedly told him that he "hadn’t done s--t for the Senecas" before he was punched in the ribs and the head.

Meanwhile, his wife, Maria, became involved in a scuffle with two other women. She said she was thrown to the floor, punched, had her hair pulled and had her head slammed on the floor.

"They were big, too. Maybe six feet tall," Maria Grisanti told the Associated Press of the two women. Maria is 5 foot 1 inches tall, according to The New York Post.

The incident took place Friday night at the Seneca Niagara Casino after an event hosted by the Seneca Diabetes Foundation. The group is not an official tribal entity.

“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," Porter said in a statement.

“Early this morning, I spoke to Sen. Grisanti to express my concern," he continued. “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," Porter added. "On behalf of the Seneca Nation, I extend my heartfelt sympathy to Sen. Grisanti, his wife Maria and their family.”

The incident is under investigation.

Get the Story:
Woman implicated in attack says Grisanti punched her husband (The Buffalo News 2/13)
Grisanti's wife hurt in assault at casino (The Buffalo News 2/12)
State Sen. Mark Grisanti and wife 'ambushed' by Seneca Nation businessmen (The New York Post 2/12)
State senator, wife attacked at western NY casino (AP 2/11)