Police investigate assault claim against Spitzer

Police investigate assault claim against Spitzer
Posted at 1:54 PM, Feb 15, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) — Police are investigating a woman's report that she was assaulted by former Gov. Eliot Spitzer in a room at The Plaza Hotel, an allegation his spokeswoman said was false.

The woman called 911 from a hotel room rented in Spitzer's name on Saturday evening, saying she had cut herself and was distraught and having a breakdown, according to two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the case. They were not authorized to speak publicly about the case and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Police responded, and the woman, who is in her 20s, said she was fine, but they noticed the cut on her arm and took her to a hospital. At the hospital, she told doctors she had a relationship with the 56-year-old Spitzer, and he choked her and shoved her after an argument, the officials said. She said the two had been together at a bar at the hotel earlier Saturday evening, the officials said.

In reference to the assault claim, Spitzer's spokeswoman Lisa Linden said: "There is no truth to the allegation." She didn't comment on whether Spitzer knew the woman or was present that evening.

Hospital staff contacted police, who spoke to the woman and she told them she was leaving shortly for Moscow and did not want to press charges, the officials said. She said they had argued over her leaving for Russia and he assaulted her, and then she broke a glass and cut her arm, the officials said. The woman's arm was bandaged, and she was released. She left on a flight to Russia on Sunday evening, one official said.

The police department issued a statement confirming that detectives were "investigating allegations of an assault which occurred at a midtown hotel."

"The victim has indicated that the subject is Elliot Spitzer (sic). Through an ongoing investigation, we are attempting to further establish the identity of the subject and the nature of the incident," the statement said. No other details were given.

Detectives have yet to question him, one official said. Spitzer, a Democrat, resigned two years into his term in 2008 amid revelations that he had sex with prostitutes.

He was identified as a patron of a high-priced prostitution ring during a federal investigation, but he was never charged. His attempt at a political comeback failed when he lost his bid to become New York City's comptroller in 2013.