A Cleveland family is in mourning after discovering their loved one was killed by an off-duty police officer last weekend. Twenty-one-year-old Thomas Yatsko’s immediate family learned of his death through calls from news reporters last Tuesday.
Cleveland.com reports the Brush High School graduate was out with friends at the Corner Alley sports bar and bowling alley last Saturday night. After a brawl erupted in the popular hangout spot, he and others were kicked out by security. Yatsko came back to the scene and began allegedly attacking the bar’s security guard, who was also an off-duty police officer.
The cop who killed Yatsko had a poor reputation in his hometown.
Sgt. Dean Graziolli, a 26-year veteran of the Cleveland police department, fatally shot the unarmed 21-year-old. A witness said Graziolli didn’t even attempt to use his stun gun before resorting to his firearm. Yatsko died shortly after being transported to a nearby hospital.
Graziolli has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of the incident by the the Cuyahoga County sheriff. Yatsko’s killing isn’t the only instance in which the officer proved suspect may be a more fitting title for him than sergeant. In 2014, a news investigation by WOIO-TV tracked 14 instances in which the disgraceful officer was at home while he was supposed to be keeping the streets safe. Graziollii was deemed “Sgt. Stay-at-Home” by local news outlets. He was put on probation after pleading guilty to falsification of police reports.
Yatsko, the eldest of two brothers worked at Dunkin’ Donuts as he saved money for a car to return to a job at engine manufacturing company PCC Airfoil. He was well-liked by co-workers, customers and neighbors. A GoFundMe campaign has been created to aid in Yatsko’s funeral expenses.