9News says Fox31 story about Italian gunmaker suspected of terrorism a hoax
Last week, Mayor Michael Hancock was at the CELL to announce the expansion of Transportation on Patrol, a program that empowers Denver's cabbies, limo drivers, truckers and even pedal-cab operators to alert law enforcement of suspicious behavior. Days later, a taxi driver reportedly called the cops because a supposed gun dealer seemed like a potential terrorist. But now it looks like last weekend's Fox31 story on the incident misfired, and there could be plenty of collateral damage.
Saturday's Fox31 piece 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 called the cops, alerting them that the man might be a terrorist. Perazzi was said to have been detained by law enforcement, then released -- but he left the country taking some very, very bad feelings about America with him.
And the bad feelings continued in this country, with TOP -- founded by former Denver Police Department officer Larry Stevenson in 2011 -- taking some hits for being overly aggressive with gun owners who feel they're being targeted, and other media outlets questioned about why they weren't following the story.
A screen capture from the Fox31 report.
9News did. And yesterday, after noting on-air "that it is exceedingly rare" for one media outlet to fact-check another, the station reported serious problems with the Fox31 story. According to the Adams County Sheriff's Office, the Colorado Gun Collectors Association, TOP and even Perazzi, the story was a hoax.
Yesterday Perazzi company issued a statement saying that the "Perazzi grandson" identified in the story does not exist, and that the company did not even have a representative in Denver last weekend. Here's the release (translated, and not well, by Google) that Perazzi SPA posted on its website:
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE by Perazzi SPANo one is more puzzled by this strange story than Larry Stevenson, an eleven-year veteran of the DPD who was working in the taxi industry when he started Taxis on Patrol.
With regard to reports in the American press, in relation to an alleged arrest for "terrorism" by Daniele Perazzi (founder of Perazzi Armi SpA), we point out that the news is completely devoid of any foundation.
Daniele Perazzi is however, unfortunately, failed to live for about a year.
Even his son, Mauro, was last Saturday in the USA.
As reported in the press is absolutely false.
The company Perazzi, however, contrary to what is written, is familiar with the American legislation on weapons because of his extensive and well-known activities of marketing its products in the USA.
Since it is difficult to think of simple error, it is believed that someone who has interests contrary to those of the Perazzi SpA, may have spread false and misleading information purposes only defamatory.
The company has already instructed his lawyers to take the most appropriate actions, civil and criminal, in order to protect the brand represented and its activity, carried on the American market.
Perazzi Armi SpA
Continue for more about the alleged hoax, including a video.