fb-pixel Skip to main content

Boston firefighter placed on administrative leave after arrest in attack on 68-year-old-man outside Faneuil Hall nightspot

A Boston firefighter is on administrative leave after he allegedly attacked a 68-year-old man outside a Faneuil Hall nightspot in front of his family, officials said Monday.

Robert F. Buckley, 43, pleaded not guilty to assault and battery on a person over 60 causing serious bodily injury and was released on personal recognizance in Boston Municipal Court on Monday. He was ordered to stay away from the victim and his family, according to court records.

According to Suffolk District Attorney Kevin R. Hayden’s office, the incident occurred outside J.J. Donovan’s Tavern around 12:50 a.m. Sunday. The victim sustained a gash to his head that will require plastic surgery and a neck injury that may restrict movement for the rest of his life, prosecutors said.


“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,” Hayden said in a statement.

Buckley, who lives in Plymouth, has been placed on paid leave, Fire Commissioner Paul F. Burke said in a statement.

“Boston firefighters are held to a high standard and are expected to be examples of public service for our communities,” he said. “The firefighter involved in this incident was placed on administrative leave on Monday, and the incident is being investigated.”

Buckley’s lawyer, Benjamin R. Megrianof Boston, declined to comment.

The victim and his relatives were celebrating a family event when he was attacked by a man wearing a long-sleeved white shirt and jeans, with red underwear “protruding from the rear waistband.”

The attacker, who was accompanied by another man, ran toward Congress Street after the incident but was tracked down by police near Atlantic Avenue and High Street, prosecutors said. A witness told police that Buckley “was ‘100 percent’ the person who threw the victim to the ground, prosecutors said. The second man was not involved in the attack, prosecutors said.


Buckley is due back in court Feb. 16.

John R. Ellement can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.