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Deputy dies during altercation in upstate New York casino, man charged in death

BATAVIA, N.Y. (AP) — A veteran sheriff's sergeant died after being attacked in a western New York casino, and a patron has been charged with manslaughter, police said Monday.

Genesee County Sheriff’s Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello, 54, died early Sunday morning after trying to escort a man and a woman out of the bar area of Batavia Downs, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) east of Buffalo.

Sanfratello became unresponsive during an altercation with the man and attempts to revive him by performing CPR were unsuccessful, according to the Batavia Police Department.

Police said the cause of Sanfratello's death had not been determined.

Michael Elmore and Lyndsey Jean Wilcox were being escorted out of the casino after Sanfratello and security officers were notified about an altercation there. Wilcox became combative with Sanfratello, who placed her under arrest with the help of security staff. Elmore began to interfere with the arrest and attacked Sanfratello. The deputy became unresponsive during the altercation, according to police.

Elmore, 33, was charged with first-degree manslaughter, aggravated assault upon a police officer and second-degree burglary. Wilcox, 39, was charged with second-degree burglary and attempted assault.

The pair, both from Batavia, were arraigned and remanded to jail.

Elmore's attorney, Joseph Lobosco, said in an email that he just began representing his client and had no comment at this time. Wilcox's attorney could not be reached.

Sanfratello, a 32-year veteran of the force, was working a special assignment detail at Batavia Downs. He had been a sergeant since 2007, according to the sheriff's office.

“Words cannot describe the loss our Office feels with the passing of Sergeant Sanfratello,” the sheriff's office said in Facebook post. “May he rest in peace.”