Buffalo Police have made an arrest in the brutal attack on an Air National Guard officer.
Jeffrey Basil, the manager of Molly's Pub on Main Street, has been charged with first-degree assault. Basil surrendered to police on Saturday evening. In court Sunday morning, Basil pleaded not guilty. Bail has been set at $250,000, though prosecutors argued against bail, stating that the case could become a homicide.
The reason for the attack remains unclear, but reports indicate that Basil pummeled William Sager, Jr. into unconsciousness, and then Sager's body was pushed down a flight of stairs. He was later handcuffed and dragged to the street and left bleeding on the sidewalk. The Guardsman is in critical condition at ECMC and is not expected to recover from significant brain injuries.
The 35-year-old Basil has a history in the bar business and has previously been convicted of a felony count for possession of a controlled substance. Two off-duty Buffalo Police officers, who were acting as bouncers at the pub, appear to have allowed the attack to occur. Chief of Detectives Dennis Richards stated, "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."
Officers Robert Eloff and Adam O'Shei have been placed on administrative leave.
Richards is asking anyone with information or possible video evidence of the incident to call the Confidential TIPCALL Line at (716) 847-2255.