Orchard Park, NY — Police chief Andrew Lenz spoke to the press (see videos below) about the death of David Gerken Jr., the Buffalo Bills fan who was found face down in a creek behind Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Gerken was ejected from Miami Dolphins-Bills game Thursday night at around halftime. Police and fire fighters launched the search after his brother — who also attended the game — reported Gerken missing when he didn’t show up at local bar after the game as previously arranged.
According to the chief, based on initial autopsy findings Gerken, 26, of Palmyra, NY, died from an accidental drowning and that hypothermia may also have been involved. Lenz classified it as a tragic accident. The chief could not confirm during the press conference the reason for Gerken’s ejection from the Bills game, although other media accounts suggest it might have been for intoxication. He also said that the police have no reason to believe foul play was involved at this time, but the investigation into the fan’s death is ongoing.
Searchers apparently used a ping on Gerken’s cell phone to find his body in the nearby creek, which is at the bottom of a steep hill outside the stadium.
The chief said that the Orchard Park police department made 24 arrests that night outside the stadium vicinity. His officers do not have jurisdiction inside the stadium proper, although 18 arrests were apparently made in the facility on Thursday night.
Watch the press conference with Chief Lenz about the death of David Gerken outside Ralph Wilson Stadium:
Here is a news clip about the incident from Channel 4 in Buffalo: