A couple years ago I wrote some posts criticizing fellow Haverhill residents for making fun of a mentally ill man — Crazy Mike, as he is unfortunately known.
Some jerks created a Facebook page dedicated to making fun of the man, whose real name is Michael Nicoloro, which was taken down after a wave of complaints.
There’s been a lot of debate and speculation regarding Mike’s mental state and how he got that way, some saying it was from his experiences while serving in Vietnam. Others claimed that he’s not in fact a veteran and that he simply chooses to live the way he does.
Most recently, many have speculated that Mike had died.
I knew something was up when traffic for my posts about him shot through the ceiling.
I got in touch with members of his family, and his apparent death was news to them.
Despite any official obituary or other confirmation, the rumors persisted.
With that came more comments to my personal email about how I was an asshole for defending him and buying into the so-called lie that he was a veteran mentally scarred by what he saw.
Whether or not he’s a veteran is beside the point, but more on that in a second.
A trusted source told me he saw Mike this week in Central Square. He’s perfectly alive, so the death rumors can stop now.
My source believes Mike was off getting a 90-day evaluation. Whether that’s true or what for I don’t know.
Now, back to all the trash talk about his military status:
His relatives have confirmed that he was in Vietnam and that he came back with the scars of war. I’m more inclined to believe his relatives.
But as I said, it’s beside the point.
He’s mentally ill. Regardless of how he got that way, people have to be jerks to make fun of him.
We all have some baggage weighing down our souls. But instead of addressing our own issues, we judge other people.
Can an encounter with Mike be unsettling? Sure. Should he be kept off the streets? Not unless he has broken the law or hurt someone. I know of no evidence that he’s done that.
I do know for a fact that people have gone out of their way to bully him and set him off.
I’m glad he lives, and I wish him peace.
Now leave him alone.