In a case that authorities have called "tragic," a 68-year-old Connecticut man was reportedly attacked and thrown to the ground outside a bar in Boston's Faneuil Hall area this past weekend.
It happened early Sunday morning in front of J.J. Donovan's Tavern, while the victim was enjoying a family celebration, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office.
Robert Buckley, 43, of Plymouth, was arrested and is being charged with assault and battery on a person over 60 causing bodily harm, a news release from the DA's office said. He was identified as a City of Boston employee in court paperwork.
NBC10 Boston has learned Buckley is a firefighter for the City of Boston, and has been placed on administrative leave.
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According to court documents, there was an altercation Sunday morning at the tavern that prompted the bartender to kick people out. It was outside that the victim was allegedly thrown to the ground, suffering several injuries.
A family witness of the attack was able to identify the suspect to police, after officers found a man matching the description provided at Atlantic Avenue and High Street, prosecutors said. The victim of the attack was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for a serious neck injury that "could have life-long ramifications," according to the DA's office. The victim may also require plastic surgery for a "severe gash" to his forehead.
A spokesperson for the victim's family said Friday that he remains in the intensive care unit and is breathing with the help of a ventilator after neck surgery.
“It’s tragic that this innocent man is out celebrating with his family and suddenly ends up on the ground with injuries that could impact the rest of his life, and tragic that it all happened in front of his family," Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden wrote in the news release. "Our victim witness advocates are in contact with the victim and his family and will stay by their side throughout the course of the prosecution."
"Boston firefighters are held to a high standard and are expected to be examples of public service for our communities," Commissioner Paul F. Burke of the Boston Fire Department said in a statement. "The firefighter involved in this incident was placed on administrative leave on Monday, and the incident is being investigated."
Buckley was ordered held in lieu of a $2,000 bail after being arraigned Monday. He is due back in court on Feb. 16 for a probable cause hearing.
Additional details have not been released, including what may have sparked or led up to the attack.