BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Erie County District Attorney is looking to find how an off-duty police officer was involved in a brutal assault case at a Buffalo bar on May 11th that left an air guardsman in a coma.
State Supreme Court Justice John Michalski signed an order, mandating suspended Buffalo Police Officer Rob Eloff submit a DNA sample. That sample could potentially connect Eloff to evidence taken from Mollys Pub, the night Tech Sgt. Bill Sager was assaulted.
Jeff Basil, the manager of Mollys Pub, is accused of first-degree assault. His bail was reduced Friday and he was released. Basil is accused of pushing Air National Guardsman Bill Sager down the steps, causing critical injuries and leaving Sager in the ICU.
Prosecutor Christopher Belling says both Eloff and Jeff Basil were there when a surveillance feed was disconnected, early Sunday morning, May 11th. That was after Sager was allegedly pushed down the stairs, by Basil.
Belling said, “Therefore, we swabbed all the connectors and that material is being processed at this time. In order to complete the processing, we need a known sample from Mr. Eloff and that’s all we’re requesting at this point in time your honor, is that Mr. Eloff be directed to give a buccal sample.”
The buccal sample is taken from the inside of the cheek.
Defense Attorney Herb Greenman says because there was no lab report saying DNA was found on those connectors, there is no reason Eloff, who was not in court, should have to submit this sample.
“The people indicate that Mr. Eloff was sort of in the area where something might have taken place,” said Greenman. “A person’s mere presence in the area is insufficient to establish probable cause, it’s not an issue of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”
With Michalski’s ruling, Eloff will be tested Monday. Basil, who was released on bail, Friday, has already submitted a DNA sample.
The investigation into the Mollys Pub assault continues. So far, Basil is the only person charged in the assault.
District Attorney Frank Sedita says, typically, DNA samples are submitted voluntarily, but Eloff has not voluntarily submitted anything.