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Buffalo police officer charged in connection with Molly's Pub incident

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Suspended Buffalo Police Officer Robert Eloff is due before Federal Magistrate Hugh Scott this morning on civil rights charges growing out of his involvement in the death of William Sager in the Molly's Pub incident last year.

The suspended police officer faces up to 10 years in jail in the case, under an indictment which charges him with conspiracy to deprive an individual of his civil rights and actual deprivation of rights.

Legal issues slightly cloud the situation. Even though it's clearly the Molly's Pub incident, the indictment charges Eloff conspired against "W.S." and also against "D.H."

"This does allege a conspiracy to violate the civil rights of both 'W.S.' and 'D.H.' That means in essence that the defendant, Mr. Eloff, is accused of acting with another person," said U.S. Attorney William Hochul.

"That other person is not specified in this indictment and we will have to wait for further court proceedings to identify that person."

Jeffrey Basil has already been convicted of killing Sager. The charges are that Sager was carried outside the pub and when his friend "D.H." wanted to find out what happened, Eloff had officers responding to a call about the incident arrest "D.H." and have him taken away.

Eloff was an off-duty officer working security at the bar.

Hochul wouldn't say how much of all this was caught on the surveillance cameras which are known to have caught much of what happened.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.