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Suspected Faneuil Hall attacker confirmed to be a Boston firefighter

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Robert Buckley, 43, has been placed on paid administrative leave after pleading not guilty to assaulting and seriously injuring a 68-year-old man on December 4.

Faneuil Hall in Boston. Charles Krupa/Associated Press

The Boston Fire Department has confirmed that a Plymouth man who allegedly attacked a 68-year-old man at Faneuil Hall last week causing serious injury is a city firefighter.

Robert Buckley, 43, was placed on paid administrative leave after the incident, which happened outside a Faneuil Hall restaurant just before 1am on Sunday.

Fire Commissioner Paul F. Burke released a statement saying, “Boston firefighters are held to a high standard and should be examples of public service to our communities. The firefighter involved in the incident was placed on administrative leave on Monday and the incident is under investigation.

According to a statement from Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden’s office, the victim was celebrating with his family at the JJ Donovan Tavern when he was attacked outside the restaurant. Hayden said the victim was “thrown to the ground by a man wearing a long-sleeved white shirt and blue jeans with red underwear sticking out from the back waistband.”

Witnesses told police they saw the attacker flee on foot. Police arrested Buckley at Atlantic Avenue and High Street. A family member told investigators that Buckley was “100%” the person who knocked the victim to the ground, the statement said. It is not known what prevented the attack.

The victim was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment for serious neck injuries and a large gash to the head, officials said. The neck injury could have “lifelong ramifications,” Hayden said, and the head gash will require plastic surgery.

During his arraignment in Boston City Court on Monday, Buckley pleaded not guilty to assaulting a person over 60 causing grievous bodily harm and was released on personal bond. He must stay away from the victim and his family, as well as JJ Donovan’s tavern.

Buckley is due back in court on Feb. 16 for a probable cause hearing.



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