The manager of Molly’s accused of seriously injuring a patron by pushing him down the stairs was indicted today on charges of second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault and tampering with evidence.
An Erie County grand jury returned the indictment against Jeffrey J. Basil, 35, of Amherst, in the May 11 attack on William C. Sager Jr., 28, an Air National Guardsman, at Molly’s Pub on Main Street in the University Heights neighborhood, according to District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III.
Basil initially was charged with first-degree assault.
Sager suffered a brain injury and is in serious condition in the Trauma Intensive Care Unit at Erie County Medical Center.
After the attack, Basil removed a bar surveillance video and disposed of it in a garbage can outside, away from Molly’s, according to police sources.
A city court judge originally ordered Basil held for the grand jury on $250,000 bail following a felony hearing. But last month, a State Supreme Court judge lowered the bail to $35,000, after his attorney, Joel L. Daniels, asked for bail to be reduced to a reasonable amount. Basil posted the bail and was released.
Basil will be arraigned on the indictment July 25 before State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang.
During the May 23 felony hearing, Buffalo Police Officer Adam E. O’Shei, who was working off-duty security outside the bar with fellow Officer Robert E. Eloff, testified that he saw Basil give Sager a two-handed shove down the stairs without any provocation from Sager.
At that hearing, Eloff refused to answer Assistant District Attorney Christopher J. Belling’s questions about the Molly’s assault, citing his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
The questions Eloff refused to answer included whether he was familiar with Molly’s Pub, whether he saw Sager thrown down the stairs, whether he handcuffed an unconscious Sager after the attack and whether he went to the basement office with Basil and removed the surveillance video.
Both officers have been suspended and face a hearing on departmental charges of acting in a manner unbecoming a police officer for their conduct that night.