ADAMS COUNTY - Serious questions are emerging about a recent report on FOX31 claiming a gun company executive was wrongly flagged as a terrorist and "interrogated" by Adams County Sheriff's deputies.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Fox31 reporter responsible for the original story stands by the report
FOX31 reported Saturday that Daniele Perazzi, president of the world-famous Perazzi gun brand and grandson of its famous founder, was detained at the Colorado Gun Collectors Association show near 58th and Washington Street. FOX31 said a cab driver alerted police thinking Perazzi was a potential terrorist.
The gun company, the Adams County Sheriff's Office, Taxis on Patrol and the Colorado Gun Collectors Association all claim the reported incident never happened.
The story has gone viral online and caused concern for gun rights supporters. 9NEWS has received numerous emails inquiring as to why the story isn't being broadly covered.
The Perazzi company issued a statement in Italian on Tuesday denying the incident occurred. A US representative for the company said its founder, Daniele Perazzi died last year, and that he does not have a grandson named Daniele. The current CEO of the company is the founder's son, Mauro. The Perazzi representative said the company did not have anyone in Denver over the weekend and called the story "totally fabricated."
The Adams County Sheriff's Office, identified in the FOX31 report as the agency that "interrogated Perazzi," said they have no record of arresting, detaining or even contacting someone at the gun show.
"We have no indication whatsoever that we were involved with this," Sgt. Paul Gregory said. "There is no indication that we arrested, detained or contacted anybody from Perazzi. The only knowledge that we had of this incident was from the FOX31 broadcast on Saturday."
Colorado Gun Collectors Association president Les Palmer was equally adamant. He spent Saturday at the gun show alongside Adams County deputies.
"I think it's a hoax," Palmer said. "It didn't happen here."
The FOX31 report linked the cab driver's call to police to the program widely-known as Taxis on Patrol. The program, officially named Transportation on Patrol, or TOP, encourages cabbies to report suspected crime.
"There's no factual information out there," TOP director Larry Stevenson said.
"My program has been damaged by this," Stevenson said. "Taxis on patrol - we have been across the globe since 2011. I literally have been getting calls from around the world related to this program from our partners in the UK, in England [and] all over globe to say 'is this true?' No, it is absolutely not true. There is no proof whatsoever that that type of incident ever took place."
Even gun rights blogger, David Codrea, who writes the blog War on Guns, has backed off the initial report.
"Things are getting bizarre," Codrea said. "I have to conclude that the source of the story for reasons unknown led sincere people into believing it was factual."
The only cited source in the FOX31 report was an unnamed female attorney reportedly representing Perazzi.
9NEWS has learned that source was 27-year-old Korrine Aguirre of Walsenburg, in southern Colorado.
Reached by phone Tuesday night, Aguirre confirmed that she was FOX31's "attorney" source.
"Yeah," Aguirre said. "There was a comment that I had made the other day that I probably shouldn't have made."
"Apparently that blew up a lot bigger than it was supposed to," Aguirre said.
When Aguirre was asked if she actually is an attorney, the phone line went dead and she did not answer repeated return calls.
An online resume claims she graduated from the University of Denver's Sturm College of Law in 2011. A DU spokesperson was not immediately able to confirm that.
Aguirre does not appear in the state's database of attorneys maintained by the Colorado Supreme Court.
A call to FOX31 management requesting comment was not returned.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)