MMA fighter allegedly beat wife, sicced dog on her

Former UFC fighter Joshua Grispi (right).
Josh Hedges/Getty Images/file 2013
Former UFC fighter Joshua Grispi (right).
Joshua Grispi

MIDDLEBOROUGH — Hours after her husband posted bail for allegedly beating her days earlier, a bloody Kaitlyn Grispi raced across the street toward her neighbor’s house Monday night, dressed only in a tank top and underwear, according to court documents.

“Get in, get in, he’s after me, he will find me,” she screamed to her neighbor as the two women turned on the house alarm and called 911.

When police arrived, Grispi’s terrifying story poured out:


Her husband, Joshua Grispi, a former Ultimate Fighting Championship mixed martial artist with a tattoo reading “Break jaws not hearts,” dragged her into their home by her hair, beat her, threatened to kill her, and sicced their bull terrier, Buddy, on her, according to the documents.

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Joshua Grispi, 25, was arrested Monday for the second time in four days. On Tuesday, his bail was revoked in Wareham District Court after a dangerousness hearing. He is being held on a spate of charges, including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, animal cruelty, and gun and drug charges.

He is being held at Barnstable County Correctional Facility.

When officers searched the couple’s home, they allegedly found marijuana plants growing under heat lamps, cocaine, and a scale.

Buddy was shaking in a crate. Kaitlyn Grispi told police that her husband had sicced the dog on her in the past and that she had scars and bruises on her breast and thigh from an earlier attack.


“It’s the worst domestic I’ve ever seen in my 16 years on the job,” Middleborough police prosecutor Richard Harvey said. “He would have finished the job if we hadn’t gotten there . . . I’ve never heard of anything this bad before. He trained the dog to do that.”

On Thursday, Joshua Grispi’s brother, Jesse Skeffington, 31, of Plympton, called his brother “a loving, caring guy” and said information that has emerged about the alleged assault is “overdramatic.”

“She wasn’t mauled. There wasn’t a single bite mark on her,” Skeffington said in a telephone interview. “She has a flair for the dramatic. It’s a really gray area.”

He said his brother is not violent outside of the Ultimate Fighting Championship ring.

A UFC spokesman declined to comment.


In a biography posted on Joshua Grispi’s UFC website, he says he started training to fight as a 13-year-old, after he had gotten into fights at school and been banned from a nearby paintball game for wanting to punch people who shot at him.

He lists his hero as Jesus Christ.

But Kaitlyn Grispi’s mother, Karen Fava, said Joshua had abused her daughter for years, and Kaitlyn, a cosmetologist, hid bruises with makeup.

“This is not drama. Look at the police reports,” Fava said in a telephone interview. “That’s real life. We can all be dramatic at times, absolutely, but there’s no drama in this. You’re in the middle of a nightmare.”

It was Fava who first reported Joshua Grispi’s alleged abuse, after she said she heard her daughter make a comment about being unable to get out of the relationship.

On Friday, Fava went to Middleborough police with a picture of her daughter’s bruised and bleeding face to report that Joshua Grispi had been beating her but that Kaitlyn was too afraid of him to come forward, according to court documents.

When police arrived at their home on Lovell Street, Kaitlyn told them there were guns in the home, according to the documents. She began crying and said she did not know what to do, and that Joshua had hit her the day before.

Police searched the house and found four handguns, two rifles, and an assault rifle, according to court documents.

Joshua Grispi has a license to carry, but the guns were allegedly improperly stored, and the couple’s children, ages 1 and 2, had access to them, according to the documents. An eighth gun was found properly stored in a closet.

Police arrested Grispi on seven gun charges and a single count of domestic assault and battery, and Kaitlyn obtained an emergency restraining order, according to the court documents. He was released on personal recognizance that night.

He was arraigned Monday, and though prosecutors requested $5,000 bail, he was released on $2,000. No dangerousness hearing was held that day.

“The decision was to ask for a cash bail [on Monday], given the lack of record and charges that he faced at that time, and he had already been out over the weekend,” said Bridget Norton Middleton, a spokeswoman for the Plymouth district attorney.

Kaitlyn’s restraining order ran out at 4 p.m. Monday, according to a Plymouth County spokeswoman. Kaitlyn did not extend it “because she thought Joshua would be better,” according to the documents.

Just before midnight, Grispi allegedly became enraged about some wood he was looking for and began screaming at his wife to get inside. Instead, she ran down the street and hid under a bush, but he found her and started punching her in the head and forced her into their home, according to the documents. Inside, he allegedly punched and kicked her, threatened to kill her and her father, and yanked her up by the hair.

He allegedly turned Buddy on her, and the dog bit her thigh before Grispi “choked out” the dog, according to the documents.

Kaitlyn Grispi managed to escape from the home and ran for her neighbor’s house, screaming for help.

She showed police vulgar and threatening text messages allegedly sent by her husband.

“UR [expletive] dead and if u even try n bring my kids into it the worse it will b for u and if u try n make a seen I’ll choke u unconscious and smash ur throat and if u get worse n run around after I’m goin to let Buddy have at you and I’ll walk out of the room,” read one message.

“I’m going to enjoy choking you to death,” he allegedly wrote in a message.

Police allegedly found 20 marijuana plants under heat lights in the basement, as well as cocaine in a knotted plastic baggie.

Grispi presented police with a medical marijuana prescription, but officers said the amount he had was more than for personal use.

Court documents say Kaitlyn Grispi was treated at Brockton Hospital and probably has a broken arm or wrist. Her mother said she had a concussion and many bruises.

Fava said she had bred Buddy, and he was a friendly, loving animal who used to sleep with Kaitlyn. The dog will now have to be euthanized, she said.

“This was something that the dog did because of someone making him do it,” Fava said.

Fava is acting as the custodial parent of the couple’s children, according to Fava and court documents.

“Obviously, drugs and alcohol are a big factor in violence, and I hope and pray that he gets help,” Fava said.

“I’m sure Joshua will have remorse because the Josh that we knew wasn’t this evil.”

Claire McNeill can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @clairemcneill.
Evan Allen can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @evanmallen.