Veteran N.Y. Sheriff’s Sergeant Killed After Escorting Couple Out of Casino

Sergeant Thomas A. Sanfratello, 54, had worked on the force for 32 years

<p>Genesee County Sheriff

Genesee County Sheriff's Office - Batavia, NY

Sergeant Thomas A. Sanfratello

A decorated New York sheriff’s sergeant is dead after escorting a couple out of Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel over the weekend.

Michael J. Elmore and Lyndsey Jean Wilcox allegedly attacked the 54-year-old who had been assigned to the special detail at the casino, according to a press release from the Batavia Police Department.

The couple — both of Batavia, N.Y. — allegedly stayed at the casino unlawfully after being instructed to leave, per police.

The couple was then escorted from the casino.

In an ensuing altercation, Wilcox allegedly assaulted the sheriff’s sergeant, who police claim, was attacked again by Elmore who “left and then returned” to the casino “with the intent to commit a crime therein.”

<p>Google Maps</p> Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel

Google Maps

Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel

In charging documents obtained by The Batavian, the newspaper reports that Elmore allegedly returned to the casino with metal chains to threaten the sergeant. Elmore then, per the documents cited in the newspaper, “passed (the chains) between both hands while swinging them around and making threats,” before swinging the chains at the sergeant’s head and face.

Elmore also allegedly put the sergeant in a chokehold and beat him with his fists, per the documents cited in the newspaper.

Elmore, 33, is charged with aggravated manslaughter in the first degree, aggravated felony assault upon a police officer and felony burglary in the second degree, per police.

Wilcox, 39, is charged with felony burglary in the second degree and attempted felony assault in the second degree.

<p>Batavia Police Department</p> Michael J. Elmore (L) and Lyndsey Jean Wilcox (R)

Batavia Police Department

Michael J. Elmore (L) and Lyndsey Jean Wilcox (R)

“Words cannot describe the loss our office feels with the passing of Sergeant Sanfratello,” the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Facebook post announcing the line-of-duty death Sunday afternoon. “Rest in peace.”

Sanfratello, who died in the early morning hours of Sunday, had twice been awarded Deputy of the Year, according to his obituary in The Batavian.

With 32 years on the job, the veteran law enforcement officer, who joined the sheriff’s office as a dispatcher in 1992, was also a certified paramedic who doubled as an active member of the Alexander Fire Department from 1986 to 2003, per his obituary.

Four years after joining the force, Sanfratello was appointed as a deputy, according to the sheriff’s office. In 2007 he was promoted to Road Patrol Sergeant.

<p>Genesee County Sheriff's Office - Batavia, NY</p> Sergeant Thomas A. Sanfratello

Genesee County Sheriff's Office - Batavia, NY

Sergeant Thomas A. Sanfratello

Described in his obituary as an avid New York Yankees fan, in his free time the father of three amassed “an overwhelming collection" of Legos and Hot Wheels and attended model car conventions and Motorama racing events across the U.S.

In 2015 Sanfratello was inducted into the Model Car Hall of Fame as the Collector of the Year, per his obituary. He was later presented with the President’s Award by the association in 2021.

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Elmore is held at Genesee County Jail on a $100,000 cash bail, a bond of $200,000 or a $500,000 partially secured bond, per police. Wilcox is held on $50,000 cash bail, $100,000 security bond or $200,000 partially secured bond.

The couple was scheduled to appear today in the Town of Batavia Court.

PEOPLE could not reach the court clerk in time for publication to confirm if the couple had yet entered a plea to the charges. It was not immediately clear who represented them in initial hearings.

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