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March 30, 2009

The Fake Cop

On March 5, at 9:50 a.m., a woman traveling south on U.S. 1 in Florida saw 25-year-old John T. Colucci race by her on a motorcycle, pull up next to a white pickup truck at a stoplight, and begin threatening the driver of the vehicle. “I’m a [expletive] cop, you could have laid me out on the street,” Colluci was quoted as saying, as he simultaneously raised his jacket and exposed a handgun. Colluci then held a badge in his wallet up at the truck driver and screamed, “I’m a [expletive] cop!” He then sped off on his motorcycle "pulling his front wheel off the ground."

The woman followed Colucci to the Port St. Lucie Civic Center while dialing 911 on her cell phone. Colucci, noticing that he was being followed, turned around and raced towards her vehicle as if he was “playing a game of chicken.” The woman was “terrified of a head-on collision,” but thankfully Colluci turned his motorcycle and sped away from the scene.

Investigators later apprehended Colucci at the Self Defense Gun Shop and Pistol Range in Port St. Lucie, where he worked. He denied knowing anything about the incident, but admitted to having a “security badge” in his wallet. The badge looked almost identical to the badges worn by Port St. Lucie Police Department officers. Colucci was arrested and charged with falsely impersonating an officer, openly carrying a weapon, unlawfully using a police insignia, and driving recklessly. Police confiscated his Glock 30 handgun and “security badge.”

A call to the Public Affairs Office at the Port St. Lucie Police Department confirmed that Colucci holds a permit to carry a concealed handgun in the state of Florida. Due to a law passed at the behest of the NRA that shields the identities of permit holders in the state , however, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services refused to say whether Colucci’s permit had been suspended or revoked by authorities.

That might leave residents of Port St. Lucie unsettled, because Colucci is currently out of jail on $3,500 bail. A court date is expected to be set sometime soon.

It is ironic that an individual who works for the “Self Defense Shooting Center” would use his handgun instead to intimidate and threaten the residents of his own community. If Florida officials have respect for the brave men and women who have taken an oath “to serve and protect” as law enforcement officers in the Sunshine State—and even a passing interest in safeguarding public safety—they will make sure this fake cop never carries a concealed weapon again.

March 16, 2009

If at First You Don't Succeed...

On Valentine’s Day, 35 year-old Frank Garcia drove into the parking lot of the Lakeside Memorial Hospital parking lot in Brockport, New York, at approximately 5:00 AM. Just four days earlier, Garcia had been fired from his nursing position at the hospital, and he wasted little time before exiting his vehicle and physically attacking Mary Silliman, 23, a former co-worker who was on a break. Two individuals who were driving by the hospital at that moment, Randal Norman and Audra Dillion, saw Garcia beating Silliman and stopped to help. When they got out of their car, Garcia opened fire with a .40-caliber Glock pistol, killing Norman and Silliman. Audra Dillion was also shot, but she managed to drive herself to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, where she recovered from her injuries.

Garcia was not done yet. He then drove 50 miles to Canandaigua, New York, where he went door-to door looking for the home of another former co-worker. Garcia eventually found Kimberly Glatz and her husband Christopher and shot the couple execution-style after terrorizing the entire family, including Glatz’s 14 year-old daughter and 13 year-old son. Kimberly Glatz worked with Garcia while he was a part-time nursing supervisor at Wesley Gardens nursing home in Rochester. Garcia was fired from this position in October 2008.

The rampage finally ended when Garcia was arrested after negotiating his surrender by cell phone. He has been charged with a total of four counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of second-degree kidnapping, and one count of attempted murder.

After the shootings, it was revealed that Garcia possessed a permit to carry a concealed handgun in New York. Officials reportedly denied Garcia’s request for a permit three times before granting him one in 2007. He was first denied a permit in 1994 after omitting information about his criminal record on his application, including arrests for criminal possession of a weapon, assault, and harassment. He then filed two more permit requests in 2001 and 2006 that were denied because of “omission[s] of fact” and because it was determined that Garcia “lack[ed] moral character.”

In a letter written prior to the 2001 denial, Garcia told a local judge about his enjoyment of the “works of Jefferson, J. locke, madison, and Hamilton” and “the organic Constitution and the Bill of Rights.” Garcia also discusses his need to protect himself with a gun in light of his view that “executive atthoraties/police officers are not bond to protect me. 95% of the time there are in pursut of the perpetrator and 5% arrive late when needed. So you see. I have no-one but myself for my own protection, especially in the city of Rochester.” At the end of the letter, Garcia offers to produce “Public-law 89-297” at an upcoming hearing, which, he claims, “calls for the total disarmament of our sovereign nation, from citizens to the military. This is all part of the New world order agenda.”

Garcia’s successful 2007 request for a permit was initially denied. However, judicial hearing officer and longtime Judge Charles Maloy reversed the denial and granted Garcia the right to carry a concealed weapon. The county court judge who initially denied the permit had the right to review the case but instead signed the permit in April 2007.

Judge Maloy has yet to explain why he issued Garcia a concealed carry permit, but it is clear that this permit offered no “protection” to Garcia or anyone else. Instead, it endangered an entire community that has now paid a terrible and unimaginable price.