Michael Grief mugshot

Suffolk County Police Department

Long Island Man Accused Of Gouging Grandma’s Eyes Out

March 06, 2019 - 12:32 pm

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (WCBS 880) – A grandmother was rendered blind after her grandson allegedly attacked her and gouged her eyes out during a dispute over money in Suffolk County.

Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini admitted Wednesday that the case is one of the most disturbing ones that his office has prosecuted.

The fight began when the 78-year-old woman accused 30-year-old Michael Grief of causing her bank account to be overdrawn by $1,000.

Grief then allegedly chased his grandmother as she ran out of their Sayville apartment to seek help from a neighbor and attacked her. Police say as the woman was trying to hide on the ground, he got on top of her and permanently blinded her.

“Using his thumbs, he gouged his grandmother’s eyes -- one at a time -- with such force that the globes of her eyes ruptured,” Sini explained.

The grandmother remains in the hospital but even after an 8-hour surgery, she has less than a one percent chance of ever regaining her eyesight, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.

“This is an individual who when he was told essentially, ‘you gouged your grandmother’s eyes out,’ said ‘so’ and shrugged his shoulders,” Sini noted.

Grief was raised by his grandmother and does have a history of mental illness, according to prosecutors.

Grief pleaded not guilty in court. He is being held on $1 million bond and faces 25 years in prison if convicted.