Michael Hance, a Bethpage native, New York City police officer, 9/11 first responder and father of two, died March 11 after battling brain cancer.
A 17-year veteran of the NYPD, Hance, 44, gained notoriety in 2015 when a video of him dancing with a reveler while in uniform patrolling the NYC Pride Parade went viral—the video showed a man who, by all accounts, was kind-hearted, gregarious and accepting of others.
Messages of remembrance and admiration were posted on www.legacy.com, with loved ones and strangers alike thanking Hance for his service, as well as his moment of pure acceptance while dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” with a parade-goer in the original 12-second clip, which has more than 7 million views on YouTube.
In June 2015, while he was working at the 111th Precinct in Bayside, Queens, Hance was assigned to patrol the Pride Parade route. During the parade, Hance, who is heterosexual, accepted the invitation to dance from a performer with the LGBT Big Apple Softball League (BASL).
“Officer Michael Hance was the costar, alongside BASL member Aaron Santis, in a video that went viral during NYC Pride a couple of years ago. The pair were filmed dancing during the NYC Pride Parade,” the group said in a statement on their website. “On behalf of the BASL community, we would like to thank Officer Hance for bringing a smile to our faces.”
Hance is survived by his parents Peter and Barbara of Bethpage; brother Peter Hance and sisters Donna Volpe of Dix Hills and Laura Campisi of Copiague. He is also survived by two daughters, Kaitlyn, 12, and Jenna, 10, and his fiancée, Melanie.
To contribute to the GoFundMe fundraiser for Officer Hance’s family, visit www.gofundme.com/3h10nu8.