New York State Senator Mark Grisanti and his wife were punched after an incident at the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls Friday night.

According to sources who were at the Casino, Grisanti was punched in the ribs by a man after a verbal exchange. Sources say a different man then hit Grisanti in the back of the head.

Grisanti’s wife Maria, who started to walk his way, was then attacked and knocked to the ground by two women, according to sources.

Maria Grisanti spent part of Saturday at an area hospital with minor injuries.

Security officers were able to break up the confrontation.

A Seneca Nation spokesperson said this was a private matter between private citizens and that neither the Seneca Nation nor Seneca Gaming Corp. officials were involved.

Grisanti and other local officials were at the casino to attend the Chairman’s Ball event to raise money for the Seneca Diabetes Foundation.

Senator Grisanti released the following statement:

Friday night my family and I attended the Seventh Annual Seneca Diabetes Foundation Chairman’s Ball at the Seneca Niagara Hotel in Niagara Falls. This was a wonderful event raising funds for a great cause. We also had additional interest in the event because my daughter was performing on stage with the world-famous Scintas singing group.

Later in the evening, two men from the Seneca Nation were in a heated argument that appeared about to turn physical when I stepped in, introduced myself and tried to calm to the situation. One of the men then physically attacked me. My wife, Maria, was then also attacked and I moved to try to protect her.

As a result, my wife was injured and was subsequently treated at a local hospital. Maria is doing fine today and resting comfortably at home. We were stunned by the incident and truly relieved nothing worse occurred.

I appreciate the quick response of Seneca Niagara security and particularly the professional actions of the Niagara Falls Police Department. My family and I are also thankful for the support we have received from the community and the compassionate apology from Seneca Nation of Indians President Robert Odawi Porter.

This isolated incident by a few people must not detract from what was a successful event that raised funds to support diabetes education outreach, prevention awareness and research to improve the lives of Seneca Nation members and non-Native Americans affected by diabetes.

-Senator Mark Grisanti, 60th District.