Buffalo Cops On Leave After Guardsman Beaten In Bar, Surveillance Footage Found In Garbage (Video)

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

An Air National Guardsman in Buffalo, N.Y., is not expected to recover from brain injuries sustained in a bar brawl when he was thrown down a flight of stairs.

Tech. Sgt. William C. Sager Jr., 28, was beaten within an inch of his life at Molly’s Pub last Sunday and placed in handcuffs by off-duty police while he was unconscious. One of those off-duty police officers was working security at the bar, according to WIVB.

Local reports have called to question whether or not two off-duty police officers played an active or passive role in Sager’s injuries.

Buffalo News reports that the off-duty cops dragged his body down the sidewalk away from the bar and placed Sager’s friend under arrested when he tried to intervene.

On-duty cops responded to the scene and reportedly found the bar’s surveillance tape in the garbage nearby.

Sager, who is engaged to be married in July, is now in an intensive care unit at Erie County Medical Center. Police and others who have visited him say he is not expected to recover from the severe brain injury.

Handcuffs were allegedly taken off Sager’s limp body before an emergency crew arrived.

“Why would an off-duty officer put handcuffs on an unconscious man?” a police source asked the Buffalo News.

Sources told WIVB that the officer working security at Molly's is B-District officer Rob Eloff, who made headlines two weeks ago after a woman at a St. Patrick's Day Parade claims he slapped her phone out of her hand and stomped on it because she was shooting video of him.

Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda told WGRZ that two Buffalo police officers are being investigated in connection to the assault. Both are on paid administrative leave. However a police source told the station that the two officers are not suspects in the assault.

Police arrested 35-year-old Jeffrey Basil of Amherst on a first-degree assault charge after he turned himself in to police Saturday evening.

"The Buffalo Police Department is continuing to investigate every aspect of this serious assault, including any actions taken by off-duty officers at the scene," said Chief of Detectives Dennis J. Richards.

Richards also denied reports from Buffalo News that the victim had called 911 before the assault and reported he was being harassed by off-duty police officers. Contrary to published reports, he said, "the victim's phone is accounted for, and he did not make any outgoing calls to 911 prior to the assault."

Sources: WGRZ [2], Buffalo News, WIVB