Five Finger Death Punch's Zoltan Bathory Pays Respects To Slain Sergeant
Las Vegas, NV – Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Zoltan Bathory recently stopped by the Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) station in Las Vegas to honor the memory of a trooper who was murdered in the line of duty in March.
The motorist, 65-year-old John Dabritz, opened fire on Sgt. Jenkins, then stole his uniform and fled the scene in the sergeant’s patrol vehicle.
Dabritz was later apprehended following a massive, multijurisdictional manhunt.
He has been charged with open murder, third-degree arson, grand larceny of a motor vehicle, and grand larceny of a firearm in connection with the murder of Sgt. Jenkins, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
On April 10, Bathory, a Las Vegas resident, visited the local NHP station to pay his respects to Sgt. Jenkins and to speak with the fallen sergeant’s fellow officers, the NHP said in a Facebook post.
The NHP posted snapshots from the meetup and thanked the guitarist for his longtime support.
“Zoltan is a dear friend of the Nevada Highway Patrol and is an out spoken supporter of all first responders,” the department said. “We thank Zoltan for his love and continued support.”
Bathory and Five Finger Death Punch have repeatedly contributed to causes and programs aimed at helping first responders and military veterans.
In January of 2019, the guitarist personally decided to help out a trooper whose home had burned down.
He donated $1,000 to a fundraising campaign established to help the trooper and his family, and shared the story on social media so that more people could contribute.
The band previously raised $95,000 for Concerns of Police Survivors by donating a portion of ticket proceeds from the “And Justice for None” tour.
“On this next tour, we are donating a portion from every ticket sold to an organization called C.O.P.S.,” Bathory told Loudwire at the time. “Basically, it’s for the families of fallen police officers.”
“I personally look at [the police] and think they are special people who deserve the respect and I don’t know that the general population understands what they go through,” the Hungarian-born guitarist explained. “I feel that they are not getting the respect that they deserve.”
Bathory noted that many people fail to recognize the life-and-death risks that law enforcement officers take every day.
“Realistically, we’re not living in a world where everybody’s got flowers and smiling and are peaceful or [singing] ‘Kumbaya,’’ he asserted. “So, for those who realize this is not reality, you have to accept that each city has a police force, and they are really that thin blue line, that thin layer of ice on a deep ocean of f--king chaos, and savagely things can happen to them.”
Bathory commended those who have chosen to protect and serve, even when some members of society fail to recognize their sacrifices.
“There are certain people who will sign up and do this job,” he said. “I don’t have to look at my girlfriend and you don’t have to look at your family and think, ‘This could be my day.’”
“These guys, they go to work and realize they might not come home. They sign up for that and that is respectable,” Bathory said.
In 2019, Five Finger Death Punch teamed up with country star Brantley Gilbert, Queen’s Brian May, and blues-infused rock legend Kenny Wayne Shepherd to create a music video featuring the heroic actions of first responders.
All proceeds from the collaborative single, “Blue on Black,” were donated to the Gary Sinise Foundation to help benefit first responders, according to the band.
"Compared to them we're just citizens. We're living our lives,” Bathory told Billboard at the time. “These firefighters and soldiers and first responders are out there risking theirs. It's close to our heart.”
Sgt. Jenkins was a military veteran, having served in both the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak said in a statement, according to KNTV.
He was also a volunteer firefighter, as well as a public servant with the Nevada Division of Forestry and the Nevada State Fire Marshall Division, Sisolak said.
Sgt. Jenkins joined the NHP as a trooper in 2008, and was initially stationed in Jackpot, KUTV reported.
In 2017, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and began serving in Elko.
“A Gold Medal of Valor recipient, the Department of Public Safety’s highest honor, Sgt. Jenkins heroic actions as an officer undoubtedly saved many lives throughout his career in law enforcement,” Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak said, according to KTNV.
The governor called Sgt. Jenkins’ death “tragic and senseless,” and said he was “heartbroken” to learn of his murder.
Sgt. Jenkins leaves behind his wife, four children, five grandchildren, and his mother, according to KUTV.
“Without question, Sgt. Jenkins was a hero to his community, his law enforcement colleagues, the State of Nevada and our country,” Nevada Department of Public Safety Director George Togliatti said, according to KOLO. "This is a tremendous loss for the Nevada Highway Patrol, his family and everyone Sgt. Jenkins touched during his long and honorable career in public service.”