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Shirtless New York Justice Was Caught on Video Shoving and Threatening a Police Officer, But He Was Never Charged

Police body camera footage shows that an apparently “intoxicated” and shirtless New York State Supreme Court Justice Mark Grisanti shoved and threatened a police officer as that officer tried to arrest the judge’s wife on June 22.

Local news previously reported that Grisanti and his wife had gotten into an altercation with neighbors over a parking space. Those neighbors said that they were attacked and had the scars and bruises to prove it.

Images via WKBW screengrab

The neighbors demanded that the justice be brought to justice. That has not happened. Law360 reported Tuesday (and you can watch the videos there) that a Buffalo Police Department spokesman said “the decision not to arrest anyone that evening was based on consultation with the DA’s office [in Erie County].”

Capt. Jeff Rinaldo said Grisanti “did not actually tackle an officer nor did he injure anyone.”

“The ultimate decision not to charge anyone was based on the videos and witness statements in consultation with the DA’s office,” he added.

But the video also shows that Grisanti told the officer,”You arrest my fucking wife, you’re going to be sorry.”

“If you don’t get the cuffs off her right now, you’re going to have a problem,” Grisanti said, telling the cop that he was friends with Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. Although many people might conclude that Grisanti was saying that the officer had reason to fear retaliation and the potential loss of his job, Grisanti’s lawyer Leonard D. Zaccagnino focused on how a spouse might feel “[i]f you had a wife that was being manhandled.”

Zaccagnino denied his client threatened the cops even though the two officers involved clearly interpreted the comments as a threat. Grisanti even apologized for “tackling” an officer (note: Capt. Rinaldo said no tackle actually occurred).

Grisanti said his daughter is a cop and he was giving the police “constructive criticism.” One officer responded with some “constructive criticism” of his own, telling Grisanti to “shut [his] goddamn mouth” and to “shut the fuck up.” Then the handcuffs come out.

“You want to drop another copper’s name? You want to scream about how you know [Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph] Gramaglia or the mayor?” the cop said. “You want to make us look dirty, is that what you want to do?”

Despite all of the above, no charges were brought.

Gina Mele, one of the neighbors involved in the altercation, told Law360 that it’s clear to her Grisanti is “above the law.”

This was not the first time that Grisanti was caught on video in a brawling mood. The previous incident dates back to 2012, when he was a Republican state senator in New York.

[Image via Law360/screengrab]

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Matt Naham is managing editor of Law&Crime. He formerly worked as news editor and weekend editor at Rare.