Michael "Lil Elvis" Segura's first brush with fame came in the form of a bizarre crime. "I was on the London news," he said, getting animated and pushing himself off the pink Cadillac he'd been leaning on. "They beat the hell out of me, but I survived." It's clear he's proud of it -- both of having survived and having been on the news in London -- but it's also probably true that the headline-appeal of the crime, a robbery at knife-point in his home, had as much to do with the assailant as the victim.
To be honest, I was initially a little skeptical about Lil Elvis's claims, but a quick Google search revealed that, in fact, the crime against Segura had gone viral. Not only had it involved a sword and an Elvis impersonator (or "Elvis entertainer," as Segura calls himself), but Segura's young gang-banger attacker had been tracked down by the police via a mustache-shaped tattoo over his upper lip that read "EAST SIDE," which Segura had caught a glimpse of under the guy's mask.
"With 'East Side' tattooed over his upper lip, it's hard to miss him," Pueblo Police Sergeant Eric Bravo told the Pueblo Chieftain at the time. It's not hard to see why the whole situation made great headline fodder.
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It also probably couldn't have come to anyone more enthusiastic about it than Segura, who cheerfully admitted he's opportunist when it comes to fame.
Like that pink Cadillac? Not his. "I just happened to come by this car," he said in a Memphis accent that faded as our interview went along. "I just thought I'd stand here and let everybody think I belong to this car. Right now, I'm the only one who's standing by this car and fits with it."
It was hard to argue with that. And for Segura, who said he's worked at King Soopers for 16 years but contends it's his calling to be an Elvis entertainer because he has the hair for it (which is true), a little fibbery is the name of the game. "Sometimes seeing is believing," he shrugged.
Then he broke into "Peace in the Valley," a-cappella, and sang it all the way through.