Bystanders tried to save Genesee County sergeant who died in line of duty, Batavia Police say

Berkeley Brean report on news conference for death of Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello

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BATAVIA, N.Y. — Batavia Police say bystanders stepped to try to save Genesee County sheriff’s Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello, who died in the line of duty on Sunday when he was attacked at Batavia Downs.

Batavia Police, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office members, and the son of the fallen sergeant spoke at a news conference on Wednesday morning about the investigation into the death of Sgt. Sanfratello.

Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch said bystanders helped Batavia Downs security to perform CPR on Sgt. Sanfratello while he was unresponsive. The chief also said bystanders helped to hold down two suspects as police took them into custody.

Sgt. Sanfratello, 54, served with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office for 32 years. During the conference, the sergeant’s son, Ian Sanfratello, spoke about his father.

“My dad was one of a kind. An amazing dad, son, brother, and co-worker,” he said. “He loved my sisters Lexi and Kyla with all of his heart and loved to spend time with us. I know we will all cherish the memories we have with him. He will never be forgotten. And he will be missed by all that not only got a chance to know him but to talk to him. And he will always be loved.”

Law enforcement recounted details of what happened inside Batavia Downs. They say the two suspects were causing the disturbance at one of the bars and the staff requested that they leave. Sgt. Sanfratello was there on special duty and tried to remove them. Police say that’s when Michael Elmore and Lindsey Wilcox got physical with him and resisted arrest.

News10NBC Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: “I wonder if you could elaborate a little bit on what the struggle was between the defendants and they were resisting arrest?”

Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch: “It’s obvious in the videos that the subjects were not going into custody without a fight. So they were physically resisting arrest very violently.”

The Genesee County District Attorney’s Office says it still doesn’t have the official cause of death for the sergeant. The police say there were many people at the casino early Sunday morning and they are looking for as much video as they can get. If you have any information, video, or photos, you can share them through scanning this QR code: