ADVERTISEMENT

The Buffalo Police Department has suspended without pay the two officers involved in the Molly’s incident that led to serious injuries to an active Guardsman.

Earlier this morning, a City Court judge dismissed the criminal trespass charge lodged against the friend of William C. Sager Jr., the severely injured Air Guardsman, when the friend refused to leave the scene in front of Molly’s bar in the early morning of May 11.

Defense attorney Thomas P. Hurley described the criminal trespass complaint against Donald Hall, 29, of Buffalo as “a joke of a charge.”

The complaint was made by Robert E. Eloff, one of two off-duty officers working security at Molly’s that night.

“My client watched his friend bleeding from the ears and nose and almost die,” Hurley said. “My client stayed with the victim and when the police arrived, he tried to tell them what happened and make sure an ambulance was on the way. He was instead arrested for criminal trespass.”

In shedding some light on what occurred inside Molly’s on the 3100 block of Main Street early May 11, Hurley said that Hall was drinking at the bar with Sager and turned away briefly. Hurley said when Hall looked toward the stairs, he saw Sager “falling down the stairs with his eyes closed and unconscious, and then cracking his head open.”

Hurley said that Hall and Sager were minding their own business and there had been no previous confrontation.

“From my conversation with the witnesses, there was nothing to provoke this,” Hurley said of the assault on Sager.

A Channel 4 reporter asked Hurley whether the incident occurred after Sager went to thank Basil for buying a round of drinks at the bar. Hurley declined to comment.

Hurley said that Hall called 911 and refused to leave his friend’s side and because of that, was placed under arrest.

Court paperwork shows that off-duty police officer Eloff was the complainant in the trespass charge. Eloff and off-duty officer Adam O’Shei had been working private security for Molly’s that night.

“Sitting in the patrol car, my client watched a murder almost happen, his friend almost died,” Hurley said. Hall will now be interviewed by assistant district attorney Christopher Belling, the Buffalo Police Department’s homicide squad and the Department’s Internal Affairs Division.

After Hall’s arrest, he was taken to the Erie County Holding Center, but homicide detectives later had him released on an appearance ticket, Hurley said, adding that the detectives “did the right thing.”

Hurley also said that the district attorney’s office demonstrated a reasoned approach after reviewing the circumstances of the trespass charge and seeking its dismissal. He credited Belling for making that happen.

email: lmichel@buffnews.com