UPDATE (Dec. 10, 2019 – 2:20 p.m.): WRFA spoke with Jamestown Police Captain Robert Samuelson Tuesday afternoon in regards to this story. For clarification, Samuelson informed us that he has been in regular contact with the family members of Tony Nuebauer as recently as last Friday. He said that he has also given them updates in the investigation and has also explained to them why charges have not yet been filed in the case. Because the investigation is ongoing, he can not comment publicly to specific questions and concerns that were raised, including the reason for no charges being filed immediately after police responded to the incident.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: The complete audio from our interview with Robert Kinne and Amanda Frankson is available at the end of this report.]
JAMESTOWN – Family and friends of a local man who was shot twice while at the Bullfrog Bar & Grill last month are seeking answers to questions they have about the police investigation into the incident.
During the early morning hours of Saturday, Nov. 30, 31 year-old Tony Nuebauer of Falconer was shot twice in the stomach during an altercation at the bar. He was sent to UPMC Hamot in Erie the day of the shooting, where he remains today in stable condition, trying to recover from his injuries.
The Jamestown Police Department is handling the case. They tell WRFA that the person who shot Nuebauer had a legal permit to carry and has been cooperating with their investigation. That person’s name isn’t being released because no charges were filed the night of the incident, nor in the ten-plus days since, although the investigation is still ongoing.
On Monday WRFA spoke with Amanda Frankson, Tony Nuebauer’s sister, and his friend and fellow Army veteran Robert Kinne. The two belong of a group of people who’ve started a page on Facebook called “Justice for Tony” and which offers updates on Nuebauer’s condition while also keeping the community updated on the investigation.
Kinne said that Neubauer’s family and friends are frustrated with police and the Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office for not file charges immediately despite a person getting shot twice.
“We don’t concede that Tony was any kind of an aggressor because we have information that leads us to believe that he was not, but even if (he was) – given their side of the story that Tony was the aggressor in a physical altercation – justification defined under New York State Law does not allow the use of deadly force to protect yourself,” Kinne said.” You’ve heard the adage ‘Don’t bring a gun to a knife fight’ well here you’re bringing a gun to a fist fight. It’s just not allowed by law. That’s our belief, that at a minimum he should have been charged with assault in the first degree.”
Kinne is also alleging that the shooter has a relationship with a member of local law enforcement and he feels the police who responded to the scene became aware of this, which is why no charges were immediately filed.
“We understand that the shooter’s father is employed in law enforcement and employed somewhere within the state of New York,” Kinne said.” As a family we are concerned that the JPD may not want to cross what they call ‘the thin blue line’ And we just want to make sure this doesn’t get swept under the rug.”
Last week WRFA reached out to both Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings and along with District Attorney Patrick Swanson and both say that the investigation is ongoing. As a result, they are not at liberty to discuss many details of the case, although Snellings did tell WRFA last week that investigators do want to talk with Nuebauer. Police also said at the time of the incident that they are asking for anyone who may have witnessed the altercation to contact them. Snelling’s said once all evidence and information has been collected, it will be turned over to the DA’s Office where they can decide what charges – if any – will be pursued.
In the meantime, Frankson said that Nuebauer is continuing to recover from injuries that severely damaged his small and large intestines and also left him without feeling below his waste, although that is now starting to return a little bit.
“He’s doing a lot better than he was. He’s getting a little better day-by-day and baby steps are better than no steps. He’s off his ventilator and he is talking so that is a very big step for us,” Frankson said.
Frankson also said that for those who want to help, a benefit is being organized with more details coming in the near future.
“We’re going to be having benefits. Dates for that will be released soon. There is a Justice for Tony page on Facebook that anybody is welcome to join and which will have more information about the benefits. We’re doing everything we can and everything is flying at us at once but we are getting it organized and getting more of set plan to see how everyone can help,” Frankson said.
Anyone who may have witnessed the incident at the Bullfrog is asked to contact the Jamestown Police Department at 483-7537, through the anonymous tip line at 483-8477 (TIPS) or via the Tips 411 cellphone app.
UPDATE (DEC. 12, 2019 – 9:35 a.m.): As part of the attached interview, WRFA has subsequently learned that Mr. Kinne made an erroneous statement regarding the whereabouts of Tony Nuebauer prior to the shooting incident that took place at the Bullfrog. Mr. Kinne had stated that Neubauer was at a downtown Jamestown establishment prior to being at the Bullfrog. We have since been informed that statement was incorrect. As a result we’ve redacted that information from the provided audio to avoid confusion and maintain accuracy of the accounts provided. The statement was not included in our broadcast or in the above story.