Buffalo, New York — A police body camera video shows a shirtless New York Supreme Court judge shoving a Buffalo police officer who was putting handcuffs on his wife during an argument with neighbours over a parking space.
Judge Mark Grisanti and his wife, Maria, were placed in the back of police cars during the altercation in June but no charges were filed.
He is seen on video obtained by WKBW-TV through an open records request telling officers that Mayor Byron Brown is a friend and that he has relatives on the police force.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn’s office announced in July that it had reviewed the altercation and would not charge anyone involved with a crime.
Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo told the station it was the officers’ decision not to charge Grisanti because he “didn’t tackle anyone. He didn’t punch him. He gave him like a shoulder shove”.
The expletive-filled video shows Grisanti shouting at the officer who is subduing his wife before he, too, is grabbed by police officers.
“Keep your hands off of a cop,” one of them tells him.
“You better get off my (expletive) wife,” Grisanti yells. “My daughter and my son are both Buffalo police officers … I’ll call them right now.”
An officer scolds him for name-dropping.
“You want to say ‘I know all these coppers, I know all these things?’ You want to make us look dirty? Is that what you want to do?” the officer asks.
Later, on the phone in the back of a police car, Grisanti acknowledges to a police detective that he pushed an officer but says he quickly apologised.
The Grisantis were involved in another scuffle in 2012 at a Niagara Falls casino when Grisanti was a state senator. He said he and his wife were attacked and beaten after he tried to break up an argument between two men.
Grisanti lost his Senate seat in 2014 when he was defeated by attorney Kevin Stocker in the Republican primary. Stocker had attacked Grisanti’s support for stricter gun controls pushed by Governor Andrew Cuomo and for his key 2011 vote as one of four Republicans who favoured legalising same-sex marriages in New York.
Cuomo nominated Grisanti to the Court of Claims in 2015.