Off-duty city officers banned from working at bars

May 23, 2014

Buffalo Police officers can no longer work part-time as security at bars. The move comes as criminal and internal investigations are underway into an attack at Molly's Pub that left Air National Guardsman William Sager Jr. in a coma.

Derenda rescinded the off-duty work permits of 20 officers on Friday. The move comes as the department conducts criminal and internal investigations into the attack that left Sager, 28, in a coma.

Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda issued the edict following a violent incident at Molly's Pub earlier this month.
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News

Police say the manager of Molly's Pub shoved Sager down a flight of stairs early on the morning of May 11. Two off-duty police officers working as outside security were inside the bar at the time. Both have been suspended without pay.

Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda says he has been looking at the policy for several months.

"Approximately two weeks before the Molly's Pub incident, we had some information that some of our officers were working inside of bars. Internal Affairs went out and caught a handful working inside and they now face disciplinary actions. So we've been reviewing this for some time now. It's isn't just in response to Molly's, it's been brewing for a while," Derenda said Friday.

The bar manager, Jeffrey Basil, has been charged with assault. He appeared in Buffalo City Court for a felony hearing Friday morning, but the court session was postponed until the afternoon.