In a horrific incident, a New York man gouged out his grandmother’s eyes, leaving the 78-year-old blind, over an argument about debit card usage, officials said Wednesday. Michael Grief, 30, was arrested and charged with three counts of violent assault for the Feb. 19 incident that took place at his home in Sayville.
According to reports, Grief and his grandmother, Sheila, got into an argument after the man overdrew her debit card by $1,000. The grandmother attempted to get help from a neighbor when the fight escalated.
“There, Mr. Grief, using his thumbs, gouged his grandmother’s eyes one at a time with such force that the globes of her eyes ruptured, both of them,” Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini said, according to Fox News. “The neighbors who heard the victim screaming and banging on the door came outside, found her on the ground and called the police.”
“He seemed apathetic toward the situation, this is an individual who we consider dangerous and we have to take all appropriate action,” Sini added, according to ABC7NY.
Grief showed no remorse as he responded “so,” when officials told him what he had done to his grandmother, prosecutors said.
The woman was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital after the attack where she underwent surgery for approximately eight hours in an attempt to save her vision. The doctors said she had less than one percent chance to regain vision.
Grief had a history of mental illness and was admitted for care when he was younger. He was held on a $500,000 cash bail and could serve up to 25 years in prison if convicted. Grief was due back in court on March 15.
“The message here is one about domestic violence: Often people find themselves in situations with their family members where they feel helpless or threatened, and we want to encourage those people to reach out,” the district attorney said. “If you are in immediate danger, call 911. In non-emergency situations, you can also reach out to the District Attorney’s Office and we can put you in contact with a victim’s advocate who can empower you and help you navigate the process of ensuring your safety.”