In response to a Fox 31 broadcast that indicated the Adams County Sheriff’s Office detained Daniele Perazzi at the Denver Mart:
When the story aired on May 18, the Sheriff’s Office was shocked to see their agency having any involvement with this event. Fox 31’s Hendrik Sybrandy wrote, “Perazzi was taken in for questioning by the Adams County Sheriff’s Department, but was released a short time later.” Contrary to Sybrandy’s report, CEO Roberta Perazzi released, “…we state that the incident is devoid of any foundation and the news is completely fabricated.”
The Sheriff’s Office immediately investigated the allegations of their reported involvement. During the course of their extensive investigation several people were contacted; to include numerous deputies and investigators, the Adams County Communication Center, personnel from the Denver Mart, personnel from Fox 31 Denver, various reporters/journalists, personnel from the Gun Collector’s Association, a representative from the TOPS program, and even someone from Perazzi. The investigation revealed that the Adams County Sheriff’s Office had no involvement with detaining, arresting, questioning, or being in contact with any person from the Perazzi Corporation or any other person at the Denver Mart regarding this alleged incident.
The Sheriff’s Office asked Hendrik Sybrandy whom he received the news tip from, but Sybrandy would not give that information to them. The Sheriff’s Office also attempted to contact the Fox 31 News Director, Ed Kosowski, for additional information but he did not respond to their phone call.
The Sheriff’s Office feels that it is unfortunate for Fox 31 Denver to have released a report that claimed the Adams County Sheriff’s Office involvement in an event without verifying it first. It is also unfortunate and disturbing for Fox 31 Denver to have released such a bold report before doing their due diligence by thoroughly investigating the tips prior to broadcasting.
The Sheriff’s Office applauds the efforts of 9 News Denver by setting the record straight during a broadcast on May 21 which stated, “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.”
The Sheriff’s Office was hoping Fox 31 Denver and/or Hendrik Sybrandy would broadcast a follow up story or issue a retraction/correction regarding the Adams County Sheriff’s Office alleged involvement with this. As of May 22 at 1200 pm, neither Fox 31 Denver nor Sybrandy had done so.
This is truly an unfortunate instance where Fox 31 dropped the ball and alleged our involvement when we had none. It is stunning to us that they have not stepped up and said they were wrong. We dedicated a number of hours by three different Divisions in our agency to investigate the Fox 31 report. I believe Fox 31 Denver and Hendrik Sybrandy had a responsibility to fact check and extensively verify information prior to going on the air and making claims that were false. Additionally, I would like to thank 9 News Denver for taking the time and making an effort to set the record straight. Responsible reporting is appreciated by citizens and law enforcement alike.