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25-year-old Milwaukee man involved in fight with police officer dies

Posted at 10:15 AM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-27 20:02:47-04

MILWAUKEE — A 25-year-old man who police say was seriously hurt in a fight with an off-duty Milwaukee officer has died.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office identified him as Joel Acevedo.

Now the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office said it's investigating the case as a potential homicide.

Investigators said on April 19, 32-year-old Officer Michael Mattioli was off-duty when he got in a fight with another man near 45th and Cleveland.

When first responders arrived, they found Acevedo unresponsive with serious injuries. Acevedo died nearly one week later on Saturday afternoon at St. Luke's Hospital.

32-year-old Mattioli wasn't hurt.

Police said the two knew each other, but it's unclear how. They also haven't said what started the fight.

Alderman Mark Borkowski of District 11, said the fight took place in his district at the officer's home where Mattioli was holding a large gathering.

"It just is mind-boggling to me that an incident like that would happen," Borkowski said.

He said he's disappointed, especially since the incident occurred as the state remains under the 'Safer at Home' order.

"For this tragedy to happen, it begs all kinds of questions," Borkowski said. "I know that our police department is under a huge microscope, to begin with, but that doesn't give them a pass on this."

Forward Latino National President Darryl Morin feels the same way.

"They really should be serving as the role models for our entire community on this very important issue," Morin said.

So far, Morin is satisfied with the investigation and how quickly independent agencies were called in.

"From what we're hearing, we'll just say we expect things to move rather quickly," Morin said.

He hopes that it remains transparent to maintain fairness and trust between the police and the community.

"We want to make sure that the family and all those involved receive the justice that they deserve, that the law is applied equally and indiscriminately," Morin said.

Initially, Mattioli was arrested on charges of reckless injury, and strangulation and suffocation. He's now out on bond and is on full suspension.

The DA's office said it's waiting to make any decisions on charges until the autopsy is completed. It's scheduled for Tuesday.

Mattioli is a 13-year veteran of the Milwaukee Police Department.

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