Lights, Camera, Chaos: Angry Mayor Takes Matters Into His Own Hands, Literally

Mayor Restaino Declares War on Unflattering Questions with Hand

By Ken Cosentino


Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino won the Democratic primary on Tuesday night. His win was majorly overshadowed by a (now viral) interview between himself and WGRZ-TV photojournalist Ben Read.

That video has been viewed over 100,000 times online in less than 24 hours.

When Read asked Restaino “How would you grade the city at this point,” a levee somewhere inside Restaino’s brain collapsed and he could no longer control his impish anger.

Restaino lashed out at Read, saying, “How would I grade the city? The city that I’ve been running for four years? A!”

Police sirens began to blare during the interview, and it’s clear that the irony did not escape the mayor, who became visibly bothered.

Read attempted to follow up with another question, but Restaino quickly cut him off; saying, “I don’t even understand that question, quite frankly. Why would I grade the city any different? How would you grade the city?”

Read replied, “I don’t live here, I don’t know.”

Read then asks, “But, I mean in terms of you running again, so I mean are you trying to improve…”

Again Restaino interjects, saying “Well there’s always work to continue to be done, don’t you think? I mean I would think. I think I’m done.”

Restaino then pushes his hand into the camera, covering up the lens before storming off.

It seems like the mayor took the phrase “hands-on approach” a bit too literally. 

Can’t Decide Between a Selfie and a Stealthy 

You know you’ve hit rock bottom when your hand becomes more famous than you.

Maybe he was just trying to connect with the lens on a personal level! And this guy represents Niagara Falls?

Mayor’s Behavior during Interview Sparks Debate

On Wednesday, WGRZ caught up with Robert Restaino and asked why he reacted the way he did to Ben Read’s simple question. Instead of accepting responsibility for his eruption, Restaino said, “It’s just unfortunate that this channel decided to conduct themselves in that manner.”

Restaino acted as though Read was trying to bait him, when in fact Read asked a typical interview question.

Robert Hackford, a producer for WGRZ reported on Twitter, “A bizarre ending to Primary Day in Niagara Falls. My colleague @benphoto716 had his camera grabbed by Mayor Robert Restaino after he asked how he’d grade the city.”

Hackford included video of the interview in his Tweet and the comments are overwhelmingly against Robert Restaino’s childish antics. It’s clear that the court of public opinion has found Mayor Restaino guilty of a lot of things.

Here are a few of the comments:

Daniel Telvock

File assault charges. He cannot touch Ben or his equipment. Bizarre is putting that lightly.  Still waiting on my FOIL, my Mayor. And a new one is coming, to find out how much spent on following a police officer around with narcotic detectives removed from their normal duties

Daniel Telvock…  State Commission on Judicial Conduct cited his “lunacy” in court


Not surprised… He did throw an entire court room in jail because a watch alarm went off back in his judge days


What does he do when reporters ask questions that aren’t innocuous?

Ricardo Garfalo

Robert could’ve said literally anything besides: “A.” Could have broke it down into areas where high marks equal positivity and low marks for violent crime reduction. Instead we only get an: “I’m done.” Questioner doesn’t live in NF but expected to answer? Mayor gets: “F” 100%

Ricardo Garfalo

As sirens blare in the background! Still no word from this Administration regarding pregnant 19 year old mom gunned down dead 2 days ago.  But hey give Niraq an A sure we feel really safe?!


I love the A and then sirens going outside  definitely far from an A


Answers a question he didn’t understand

Mike Saffran

Has the guy never watched a presidential debate? While it might not be the most original question, politicians are routinely asked to “grade” themselves. (“Thin-skinned” and “politician”: Not a good match.)

Virus X

Do I hear police sirens as he answers the question.


Why’s he look like crap what’s he on ? Oh wait it’s the falls that  has drug houses they never close

Virus X

I’d give it a D. For Dirty low down town.

Joshua Jarzab

Lol if your proud of what you’ve done you would be happy to answer that question… Yet. What has he even done lol


Well then he needs to resign


Wow what arrogance


“A” for abomination. The crimes being committed, the poverty, the drugs and nothing is being done?  I can’t even go home. A city that needs strong leadership and doesn’t have it again!


He was a douchebag when he was the head of Niagara County DSS too. Just goes to show you its all about who you know.


And I own a house in Niagara Falls. He rates the city an A? He must be smoking the crack they’re slinging outside his doors at city hall.


“A” how about a BIG F. But I put some of the blame on NYS for not sharing revenue from all the Falls visitors and all the failed and contaminated land in the Niagara Falls Area. They need to redo Niagara Falls like they’ve done with Buffalo with State & Federal Money ASAP

Bob Brooks

I have always thought of him as a strange person with not a lot of answers. Gets very irritated when asked anything

Chris Jenkins

Every resident I’ve talked to feels it’s getting worse.

And anecdotally, from my perspective, crime is through the roof. My 7/11 keeps getting broken windows, the body shop by me is getting cars with bullet holes, my neighbors Kia was almost stolen couple days ago. It’s crazy

This is Fine

That’s the most action he’s taken in 4 years


ouch, not a good look .


Restaino has done a horrible job and was a horrible lawyer/judge also. The city has/is falling apart at the seams with high homelessness, drug use and skyrocketing unemployment not to mention crazy tax bracket.

Such a waste of a once beautiful city.


The city is friggin war zone needs to be wiped out from main st to buffalo ave.


Absolutely terrible mayor , ruined my city !!! Csnt protect the kids ! Can’t keep crime rates down , drugs addicts and homeless people literally everywhere worse than ever and it only started getting worse when this bozo entered the city hall .


That guy has some secrets. That was weird.

Aiden Tribbets

I’ll rate it an F. NOTHING has been done about crime in this city and it continues to get worse, why isn’t that top priority right now? People are scared to even cross Hyde Park Blvd…..but keep bragging about the surplus whole people live in fear


An A? A pregnant 19 year old was just shot in the head on the 26th on 19th and falls

Hank Rearden

Dude, you get an F minus for the way. You’ve run the shit hole. You have done nothing different. I know you have delusions of grandeur, and that’s great, but that’s not gonna solve the cities problems. It shouldn’t even be a city anymore.

The Greek 

The place is a Democratic shit hole…Eye sore. Comical he gave an A? Another narcissistic douchebag…

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