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VIDEO: NY Judge Shoves Cop In Scuffle With Police After Fight With Neighbors

Buffalo, NY – A New York Supreme Court justice and his wife were caught on video screaming threats at Buffalo police and name-dropping local officials after officers responded to a disturbance in a North Buffalo community (video below).

The incident occurred on the afternoon of June 23 when police were called about a street brawl between State Supreme Court Justice Mark J. Grisanti, his wife, and their across-the-street neighbors, WKBW reported.

Bodycam video obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by WKBW showed that the justice and wife Maria Grisanti rushed up to the police car when the officer arrived to tell their side of the story.

“They’re a bunch of f–king assholes,” Maria Grisanti yelled first, pointing at three people standing in a driveway.

Then, before the officer could even respond to her, she turned and walked over to the neighbors and got in one of the women’s faces, the video showed.

Officers followed her over and separated the parties and the neighbors calmed down to tell police what had happened.

Maria Grisanti, the video showed, began screaming and the officer ordered her to go back across the street.

The video showed Grisanti explained to the other officer that he and his wife felt the neighbors were parking too many vehicles in front of their house and had gone over to talk to them when the incident began.

While officers were interviewing the judge and the neighbors, bodycam video showed Maria Grisanti crossed back over to the neighbors and started screaming at them in their driveway, again.

“Wait til my son hears,” she screamed, pointing at the neighbors. “Wait til my son hears what you did.”

“Ma’am, if you don’t stop yelling, this is gonna be a problem for you,” a Buffalo police officer warned her in the video.

“I don’t care,” Maria Grisanti yelled back.

So the officer walked across the street to take the angry woman into custody, the video showed.

“My son!” Maria Grisanti screamed as the officers began to put handcuffs on her.

Then the video showed she resisted arrest.

Her husband rushed over to intervene and tried to stop the officer from handcuffing his wife.

The video showed Grisanti approached the officer from behind and shoved him.

“Keep your hands off of a cop,” an officer said as he grabbed the judge.

“You better get off my f–king wife,” Grisanti yelled at the officers. “My daughter and my son are both Buffalo police officers… I’ll call them right now.”

“I know, I know,” the officer told the judge as his partner continued to handcuff Maria Grisanti.

The officer began walking the woman to his patrol vehicle, the video showed.

“Hey! You arrest my f–king wife you’re going to be sorry. My son and my daughter are both police officers,” the judge threatened in the video.

“If you don’t get the cuffs off her right now, you’re going to have a problem,” Grisanti warned the officer.

“Don’t threaten that,” the officer told him calmly. “She’s going to sit in the back of the car right now. We’re not going to do that by your demand. Let us just work this through.”

So the judge threatened to call the lieutenant who supervised his daughter, Ashley Amoia, and son-in-law, David Cole, WKBW reported.

When that didn’t work, Grisanti named-dropped Buffalo Police Deputy Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia.

“Gramaglia’s… my cousin,” he told officers in the video, according to WKBW.

Buffalo Police Spokesman Captain Jeff Rinaldo said later that Deputy Commissioner Gramaglia denied being related to the judge.

When the officers weren’t impressed by threats to call police officials, Grisanti moved up the chain of command and threatened to call the Buffalo mayor, WKBW reported.

“Listen, I’m good friends with Byron Brown,” Grisanti told the officer.

At that point, the officer dealing with the judge had had about enough and wagged his finger at Grisanti, according to WKBW.

“You wanna drop another copper’s name?” Buffalo Police Officer Richard Hy asked the judge in the video. “You want to scream about [how] you know Gramaglia or the mayor? Why don’t you shut the f–k up?”

“You want to say I know all these coppers, I know all these things?” Officer Hy continued. “You want to make us look dirty? Is that what you want to do?”

Then the officer handcuffed the judge and put him in the back of a police vehicle, WKBW reported.

Later, bodycam video showed Grisanti talked directly with Buffalo Police Detective Mark Costantino, whom Capt. Rinaldo confirmed in the judge’s cousin.

“They’re saying you pushed an officer. You wouldn’t do that, would ya?” Det. Costantino asked Grisanti, according to WKBW.

“I pushed him and I said, ‘Don’t friggin tackle her’ and I pushed him,” the judge replied. “I apologized to him, Mark, right after that because I said, ‘Listen, I respect you guys in law enforcement,’ you know I go, ‘My daughter’s a police officer, my son in law’s a police officer, all my family’s police officers.’”

The video showed Det. Costantino then reminded Grisanti about how bad it would be if the incident went public.

“I mean, I just… the thing that freaks me out is that everything you do is gonna be scrutinized because of your job,” Det. Costantino said.

“Well Mark, I never mentioned anything about my job or who I was, you could ask any officer, I never mentioned anything like that,” the judge said, according to WKBW.

“If you get arrested, you know that’s gonna be on [the news]…” Det. Costantino warned in the video.

“Yeah, I understand that,” Grisanti agreed.

Capt. Rinaldo said the decision to allow the judge to chat with his detective cousin was made by the lieutenant on the scene, WKBW reported.

When the incident was over, police decided not to go forward with charges against the Grisantis because the judge “didn’t tackle anyone. He didn’t punch him. He gave him like a shoulder shove,” Captain Rinaldo explained.

The captain said the decision was made by the officers who were there, WKBW reported.

“The DA did not offer an opinion on that,” he said. “That was their [the officers’] discretion not to charge him for the push.”

But the matter may not be over for Grisanti.

Gina Mele, one of the neighbors involved in the altercation, told
WKBW that she had been contacted by investigators from the New York State Committee on Judicial Conduct, the entity with the power to sanction or remove state judges.

Grisanti earns $174,000 annual salary as a New York Supreme Court justice.

Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content and Obscene Language:

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

View all articles
Written by Sandy Malone


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