Cop Holds Off-Duty House Party, Gets Arrested After Fighting Man Who Later Dies
Milwaukee, WI – A Milwaukee police officer is facing charges after a man he had a physical altercation with at a party died from his injuries on Saturday afternoon.
The fight occurred off-duty just before 7:40 a.m. on April 19 during a gathering at Milwaukee Police Officer Michael Mattioli’s house in the 4500-block of West Cleveland Avenue, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Details of the altercation have not been released but police said 25-year-old Joel Acevedo was unresponsive when police arrived at the residence, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Witnesses said Officer Mattioli knew Acevedo and that he was a guest at the house party, which was held in violation of Wisconsin’s stay-at-home order which prohibits social gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.
Officer Mattioli was arrested at the scene and booked into the Milwaukee County Jail, WISN reported.
He was initially charged with first-degree reckless injury and strangulation and suffocation.
The 32-year-old officer, a 13-year veteran of the Milwaukee Police Department, was released after he posted $50,000 bail on April 23, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
But on April 25, Acevedo succumbed to his injuries and died at the hospital.
Milwaukee County Chief Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern said his office was determining what additional charges would be levied against the officer, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Milwaukee PD said that Officer Mattioli has been suspended while an investigation into the incident is conducted by the district attorney’s office.
Some neighbors were critical of the police officer holding party during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, WITI reported.
"I think that a police officer, somebody that we should be respecting, that's having a party in his own home, is in violation of the governor's order. I think that upsets me,” neighbor Bridgette Schulz said. “I keep my children in the house. We very seldom go anywhere and it upsets me that police officers shouldn't be above the law and having parties and having social gatherings in their home."
Others just seemed perplexed that the officer was in trouble, WISN reported.
"It's sad man,” neighbor Marvin Benford said. “He's a good guy, a great neighbor, a good friend. My feelings go out to the man that passed, but what do you do? You push on and you keep going."
Milwaukee Alderwomen Milele A. Coggs and Nikiya Dodd have called for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
“We want to help answer questions that many people have about the incident, about the alleged party that was being unlawfully held, it appears, during the coronavirus pandemic with a stay home order in place, and what can be expected to happen to the officer in the future,” Coggs said in a written statement.