Fox31 admits it was fooled by source on gun story -- but why did she do it?
By now, just about everyone admits that the Fox31 story of the cab driver fingering an Italian businessman with the Perazzi gun company as a terrorist was a fake, including the station, grudgingly. We know how it happened (9News has done a good job of dissecting the original story), but we don't know why. Maybe the only one who does is the woman who set this fiasco in motion: Walsenberg's Korrin Aguirre, 27, who told Fox31 she was an attorney representing the detained Italian. But she is not an attorney, and there was no detained Italian businessman.
Yesterday, after 9News ran a story pointing out problems on the Fox31 piece, the Perazzi company put out a statement denying everything and Transportation on Patrol founder Larry Stevenson appeared on Peter Boyles's show to do the same.
Finally, KDVR tweeted this statement:
Larry Stevenson, as seen in footage used in the Fox31 report.
We believe we were intentionally misled by someone who misrepresented herself not only to the news media but to two of our sources on the story, an NRA board member from Colorado and a nationally-recognized Second Amendment attorney, both of whom as recently as yesterday were standing by the story. These sources now tell us they believe they were misled by the woman. We are working on a follow-up story that will thoroughly explain what happened.The original piece, which aired Saturday, reported that Daniele Perazzi, president of the Italian gun manufacturer and the grandson of its founder, had come to town for the Colorado Gun Collectors Association show at the Merchandise Mart, bringing seven expensive guns with him, when a cab driver who was part of the Taxis on Patrol program called the cops, alerting them that the man might be a terrorist.
The original Fox31 story, by Hendrik Sybrandy, used some file footage of Stevenson, the former Denver police officer who founded Taxis on Patrol (now Transportation on Patrol) in 2011, but no fresh interview with Stevenson, who would have told them that no cabbie made such a call, and that any drivers in the TOP program are trained not to make idle accusations. "I am shocked and disappointed that Fox31 nor Sybrandy has not had the professional decency to reach out to me AT ALL!!!" says Stevenson.
A screen capture from the Fox31 report.
The original Fox31 report also said Perazzi had been detained by Adams County law enforcement, then released. But yesterday, Sergeant Paul Gregory of the Adams County Sheriff's Office, which oversees the Merchandise Mart, sent out an unusually strong response to the Fox31 broadcast.
Continue for more about the hoax that aired on Fox31.