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Witnesses say Police Chief restrained defendant while others beat him up in Frankfort election night brawl

By By JOLEEN FERRIS

LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. (WKTV) - They were all watching the same election-night brawl in the Frankfort Village Offices in June of last year, but Friday in Little Falls City Court, the witnesses gave very different accounts of what happened.

Harold Griffin is on trial for allegedly assaulting Frankfort Village Mayor Frank Moracco and several others. Prosecution witnesses say that Griffin swung repeatedly at the mayor and others and bit the mayor's son-in-law on the forearm.

Police Chief Steve Conley Friday testified that Griffin swung at him several times while Conley tried to break up a fight between the mayor and Griffin.

"He was punching and kicking, I got hit a couple times about the body and head," said Conley.

Defense witnesses, however, say they saw the chief restraining Griffin while several men-including the alleged victims in this case-punched and kneed Griffin. Griffin-the one on trial for assault-testified on his own behalf, saying it was all he could do to defend himself from the onslaught of fists and knees.

"Just trying to block the punches that were coming, just using my arms trying to cover my face and head up.....I never threw a punch," said Griffin.

Testimony is complete. Both sides waived closing arguments, as a judge, not a jury, is deciding this case. It's not known if the judge will notify the parties of his verdict by mail, or tell them to be in court for the reading of the verdict. He could rule next week.

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