The Life Lessons of Mike Ercoli

In early September of 1994 a man named Mike Ercoli was leaving an area famous in the old DC bar scene called “The Alley” when he may or may not have struck a homeless man with his Buick Regatta. As witnesses related to us who were friends with Mike, he became violent after he was arrested by multiple U.S. Secret Service Uniformed officers (several embassies are located near the area, which is why they arrived first) because he believed one of the officers had struck his mother, who happened to be in the car with him. The arrest occurred at approximately 3:00 a.m. He was never taken to the local jail, but was taken instead to DC General Hospital at 6:00 a.m. with massive internal injuries

On or about October 1 of 1994, Mike Ercoli died as a result of his injuries

For the record, I and another friend of mine took Mike’s mom to identify his body right after he died. The reasons for telling Mike’s story are numerous, and there are lessons to be learned from his death.  

First off, Mike was a Caucasian male, and an alcoholic. The Black Lives Matter publicists will always scream racism whenever a black thug is killed. Mike was an alcoholic who wore facial make up. The fact that he wore makeup would have likely made the militant homosexual lobby say that he was beaten because he was gay.  No he did not wear the makeup because he was transgendered or “gender confused”. Mike wore the makeup because he was an evac chopper pilot in Vietnam who was shot down and burned badly in the resulting fire. Mike drank because he somehow lived through having a bullet in his back and then the ensuing fire after the chopper crashed, yet the wounded soldiers who he had been carrying were killed in the fire, and he never got over the guilt of living while those who he had been charged with taking care of died.

Second, from everyone who saw the arrest and how it played out (For the record I was one of Mike’s best friends at the time of his death and Mike and I were well known on the DC bar scene), it was clear that the incident did not occur as was told by the Washington Post. While my then drinking buddies who witnessed this incident may have had a few too many, the fact is that they were all consistent about one fact -- that Mike did not start acting out until he had been put in handcuffs, thus negating the story told by the Secret Service that Mike had pulled a gun out from an officer’s holster. This incident may have not been criminal on the part of local law enforcement, but certainly they acted inappropriately. And likely the reports filed were false. It should be mentioned for the record that none of Mike’s friends ever rioted or burned the 19th and M Street areas of NW Washington DC. We were all people who worked for a living and just liked to go out and party after hours.

Third and maybe most important -- and this is the hardest thing for me to accept. My friend Mike Ercoli would be alive today if he had not resisted arrest. As much as it pains me to have to say this, Mike helped to cause his own death by acting out. Everyone agrees that Mike went ballistic after he either saw or thought he saw one of the arresting officers push his mother to the ground. Mike had a horrible temper, and knowing him the way I did, he likely did flip out. Mike was a rather large fellow, over six feet tall, and weighed about 250 lbs. To take this man down could not have been an easy thing for the Secret Service personnel and likely involved the use of billy clubs and the like. While Mike should never have been beaten to death, he is responsible for putting himself in that situation by driving drunk, and then acting stupidly when his mother either was pushed or slipped and fell.

For all those who want to make every issue of police brutality a racial matter, it is not one. It is a snow job being perpetrated on us by race pimps who are profiting off the poverty of black youths. It’s not your fault you’re in the ghetto -- blame whitey. Forget the fact that your father abandoned your mother, forget the fact that the liberals have trapped you in a failing school system which grades itself not by how well children learn, but how many kids are pushed through a system which cares not about our children. 

Cops are also human, and when put into stressful situations, no matter how good the training, something bad can happen. While I can never prove this fact, there is little doubt in my mind that Mike’s death was a murder which was covered up by the DC Police after having been given untruthful statements by the U.S. Secret Service (see attached story from Washington Post). But Mike put the officers in that situation by resisting arrest. We have an adversarial judicial system for just that reason. To ensure that any person charged with a crime has a fair trial. Not a perfect trial, but one where all the evidence comes out in a manner which protects the right of any accused man from judicial tyranny. Most people, if they do something wrong, will try and cover it up. This is a sad fact of humanity, which has occurred since the time of Cain and Abel. It was the cover-up which got Nixon in trouble. Mike caused his own death.  And no matter how much this may offend the Black Lives Matter troublemakers, 99% of cops are quality individuals who do their work well and should be thanked daily for protecting us from those who would live outside the law.

The fact is near 100 percent of those who are arrested and act in a peaceful manner live through the experience. If there is one lesson which may be taken away from Mike’s untimely death, and the deaths of Freddie Gray (Baltimore) and Michael Brown (Ferguson, Missouri) it is that resisting arrest, acting out, and attacking police officers will not end up well. The punks who rioted in Ferguson and Baltimore, and us who miss Mike Ercoli and the many Mike Ercolis of the world are a testament to this.

John Massoud is a local businessman in Northern Virginia, a local district chair in the Shenandoah County GOP, and does media relations for the Shenandoah Valley Constitutional Conservatives aka the Shenandoah County Tea Party.