BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Friday morning there was a ceremony at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park, where loved ones, servicemembers and community members prayed for Tech. Sgt. William C. Sager, Jr.’s recovery. He was critically injured in an assault at Mollys Pub.
Sager’s family shared video with News 4 from a very special moment. After the community prayer Friday morning, loved ones shared video of Sager proposing to Erika Webster. The couple has known each other for years, and got engaged around this time last year. The proposal took place at Sager’s grandparents’ home in Delaware. They planned their wedding for this July.
Webster was named Sager’s guardian this week in court, after the airman was assaulted at Mollys Pub. Sager, a former crew chief at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, was critically injured during an assault, on Main Street, in Buffalo. At least two eyewitnesses told detectives they saw Jeffrey Basil, who has close ties to the bar, push the Air National Guardsman down a flight of stairs inside the bar on Mother’s Day.
Family and friends continue to stay at Sager’s bedside at the Erie County Medical Center. Though he is believed to have suffered a traumatic brain injury, they talk to him softly and believe he can still hear them.
Webster said, “We believe he hears us. We do. We just tell him we believe in him, we know he can do this and that he’s the strongest person we know. If anybody can get through this it’s him.”
Sager’s father, William Sager Sr. said, “He’s very strong willed, tough, tough, kid. Tough person.”
Sager deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. He also took part in relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Haiti, and Hurricane Sandy.
Loved ones are using #PrayforBill on social media as an awareness and fundraising campaign.
Buffalo Police Officers Adam O’Shei and Rob Eloff were working security for Mollys Pub that night, they were both suspended without pay. Friday, Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda banned officers from working off duty outside of bars.