Ex-Gov. Paterson's Stepdaughter Arrested in Fight With Boyfriend

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC New York
    Ashley Dennis at right, with her parents and half-brother Alex Paterson, during Gov. David Paterson's swearing-in at the State Capitol March 17, 2008.

    The stepdaughter of former Gov. David Paterson was arrested Saturday night, charged with felony assault after hitting her boyfriend over the head with a bottle during a fight in his West Village apartment.

    Ashley Dennis, 23, and Brian McGuinness, 30, engaged in a violent fight in the apartment at 122 MacDougal St. at around 4:45 a.m., the Daily News reports. Dennis broke a bottle over her boyfriend's head, knocked him to the floor, and then repeatedly slammed his leg in the door until he lost consciousness.

    McGuinness received three stitches at Beth Israel Medical Center.

    The superintendent at the West Village building told the Daily News she thought the somebody had been stabbed.

    "There was blood on the floor, on the door handle, all over the hallway," Pearl DiGeronimo, 60, said. "I thought it was a murder."

    A neighbor also told the paper she woke to the sound of smashing glass, and then heard McGuinness saying "Help me, help me," then "Fire, fire." It was at that point the neighbor, who only gave her name as Marie C., said she knew it was serious.

    "He wasn't moving," she said. "He had two shoes on top of him like she kicked him out of the apartment and threw the shoes."

    McGuinness was charged with criminal obstruction of breathing, a misdemeanor under the state's anti-choking law, the News reported. Dennis was charged with felony assault.

    Police walked Dennis out of the 6th Precinct stationhouse several hours after her arrest, the News said.

    Dennis was arraigned Saturday night and released on her own recognizance and ordered to stay away from McGuinness. She's due back in court Dec. 20.

    Dennis is the daughter of Paterson's wife Michelle Paige Paterson and her first husband, but was raised by Paterson after her mother married the Harlem state senator.

    In his address to the state Legislature during his swearing-in as governor in March 2008, Paterson called his stepdaughter his "best friend" as he recounted the then 4-year-old's words to him at his and her mother's wedding.

    "I said, 'Ashley, can I sit next to your mom?'," he recalled. "And she said, 'No, I sat here first.' How do you convince a 4-year-old that you want to sit next to your wife? And I tried one more time. I said, 'Ashley, I just got married. Can I sit next to your mom?'"

    "She said, 'Get over it, David,'" he continued. "And as I tried to get over it, that little girl has grown up to be my best friend, Ashley Dennis."

    The Patersons also have a son together, 17-year-old Alex Paterson. Alex Paterson was issued a juvenile report in 2010 for loitering with the purpose of gambling.