ORLANDO, Fla. — When U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson’s wife called 911 on March 1, a dispatcher asked her if the congressman had touched or physically hurt her.
“Um, no,” Lolita Carson-Grayson responded. “I pushed him because he’s coming to the house and he’s been disturbing my peace.”
Carson-Grayson’s initial 911 call to authorities in Florida, as well as disparities in her later accounts of what happened last Saturday afternoon, led to the decision Friday not to pursue charges against the congressman, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office announced.
Investigators said there wasn’t enough evidence that a crime had been committed during the confrontation. They reached that conclusion after also interviewing the couple’s oldest child, Grayson and one of his aides, who shot video of the incident.
“The Orange County Sheriff’s Department confirmed what we have known all along: Congressman Grayson did nothing wrong,” Grayson’s office said in a statement. “We are relieved that this ridiculous ordeal is over, and that the Congressman can continue to focus on taking care of his family and serving his constituents.”
The day after the incident, Carson-Grayson drove herself to Dr. P. Phillips Hospital in Orlando, where she told emergency-room workers that her husband had pushed her against a door at their Windermere-area home and bruised her left shoulder during the dispute, a sheriff’s report states.
That allegation also was included in a petition for a domestic-violence injunction that she filed on Monday. A judge will decide whether to extend the protective order, make it permanent or dismiss it at a hearing scheduled for March 20.
At the hospital, Carson-Grayson, 53, told investigators that she and her husband of 24 years had been separated since December 2013. She claimed he had abused her physically and emotionally for years and had engaged in multiple extramarital affairs, but she never reported the alleged violence because of his position and her embarrassment.
She sued him for divorce in January. Her attorney, Terry Young, could not be reached for comment late Friday.
Deputies contacted Grayson on Sunday after his wife’s complaint at the hospital. According to deputies, Grayson responded that she was a liar and was “crazy.”
The incident has “caused tremendous embarrassment to the congressman and his family, and he’s very much pained over this,” Grayson’s attorney, Mark NeJame, said Friday night.
The dispute between the Graysons happened when he showed up that Saturday to see the couple’s children.
Carson-Grayson said her husband’s visit that Saturday was unannounced. He was “demanding” to see the children, she told deputies, as she was planning to take their 8-year-old twin boys for a play date. Grayson told investigators he went to pick up his mail and some vitamins, the report states.
According to an investigating officer, Carson-Grayson gave different accounts of the confrontation.
In her domestic-violence petition, she accused Grayson of shoving her against a door, causing her to fall down. She acknowledged pushing him in the face but said she was defending herself.
“This statement is in contrast from Victim Grayson’s account of the incident in which she advised me during my initial interview she did not fall to the ground, and she never lost her balance,” sheriff’s Detective Renee Fortinberry wrote.
The couple’s 18-year-old daughter, Skye Grayson, wrote an email, forwarded to investigators by her father’s attorney, stating that her mother was the one who became physical.
“She continued to yell at my father, pushed him and slapped him in the face,” Skye Grayson wrote. “At no time did my father hit or push my mother. In fact, my father backed away from my mother when she became physically aggressive.”
The aide’s cellphone video that Grayson’s attorneys released Wednesday shows Carson-Grayson pushing her husband twice near the door and him retreating.
The incident was recorded by the congressman’s director of constituent services, Juan Lopez, at Grayson’s request. He was afraid that his wife would “hit herself with a frying pan and blame me,” sheriff’s documents show.
On Thursday, prosecutors also filed notice that they would not pursue a domestic-battery and witness-tampering case against Skye Grayson. She was arrested Nov. 26 after her mother alleged that she battered her and pulled a phone cord from a wall as Carson-Grayson tried to call 911.
Prosecutors last month decided not to file an aggravated-battery charge stemming from the same event.
(Staff writer Mark K. Matthews contributed to this report.)
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