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Man allegedly struck officer and was shot, will remain in custody at mental health treatment facility

Posted at 2:54 PM, May 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-26 14:54:14-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A Buffalo man who allegedly struck a Buffalo police officer with a baseball bat and was then shot has been ordered to remain in custody at a mental health treatment facility.

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announced 61-year-old Willie Henley was virtually arraigned Wednesday on an indictment charging him with one count of assault in the second degree.

On September 12, 2020 Henley allegedly struck a Buffalo police officer with an aluminum baseball bat twice and was then shot. Henley survived the injury.

The district attorney's office says Henley was wanted on a bench warrant from May 2018 for failure to appear in Mental Health Court at the time of the incident. Henley previously pleaded guilty to one count of criminal mischief for hitting a police officer during an arrest in December 2017.

In November 2020, Henley's defense counsel made a bail motion after housing and mental health treatment were secured, he was released to the custody of a family member on signature bond.

In February 2021, a family member allegedly contacted the Erie County DA’s Office to report that Henley, who was still living with the family member, had made threats. The DA's office says it learned Henley allegedly refused housing and mental health services that were a condition of his release a bail motion was presented to the Court to return the Henley to custody.

When appearing in Buffalo City Court after being taken into custody two doctors found Henley not competent to stand trial. He was transferred the Rochester Psychiatric Facility in March 2021.

Henley has been relocated to another secure mental health facility in Central New York and appeared virtually Wednesday to be arraigned on the alleged assault of the police officer in September 2020.

The judge signed an order of commitment Wednesday that requires Henley to remain in custody at the mental health treatment facility until he is returned to competency.