WHEAT RIDGE — Wheat Ridge police are looking for a man who attacked volunteers at a Recall Jared Polis petition signing event Wednesday evening, verbally assaulting two women, kicking over tables and chairs and attempting to steal the petitions.
Nancy Pallozzi said she and two other people were working a petition booth at the corner of 40th Avenue and Kipling Street, in the parking lot of the Wheat Ridge Recreation Center at approximately 5:45 p.m. when a man dressed in all black approached their table and began harassing the two women collecting signatures.
Pallozzi said he was wearing a black T-shirt with a picture of President Donald Trump crossed out on the front and the words “Making America Hate Again” on the back.
“He was spewing all the same garbage they always do,” said Pallozzi, who added she’s been confronted several times during the recall effort by a few different groups sympathetic to the progressive movement, “calling us Trump lovers, homophobics, racists, white supremacists, on and on.”
She said neither she or the woman she was with responded to questions they asked during the confrontation.
“It had nothing to do with the Recall Polis issue,” she said.
Pallozzi said they tried to simply ignore the man for about 45 minutes, but at some point, Pallozzi said, three more recall opponents showed up and began harassing the Polis recall volunteers as well. Pallozzi said she recognized them from previous encounters as being affiliated with the group ProgressNow Colorado, a left-wing advocacy organization.
Ian Silverii, the executive director of ProgressNow Colorado, in a Tweet to Complete Colorado, which he admonished as not real journalism and without asking who the three were, gave a blanket statement that they did not work for ProgressNow Colorado. Silverii is the husband of Sen. Brittany Pettersen, D-Jefferson County, who Pallozzi is also carrying a recall petition against. However, she was not circulating the Pettersen petition at the time, she said, because it was on the edge of Pettersen’s district and signatures would have needed to be verified, distracting from the Polis effort.
Pallozzi said the three were not part of the actual attack, but they were disruptive to the process and she had to get in between them and voters signing the petition several times. Pallozzi said she believes ProgressNow is making this personal against her because she ran against Pettersen for a House of Representatives seat a few years ago. She said her involvement in either recall has nothing to do with her loss in that race.
Pallozzi said she asked the man to leave, and eventually he complied; however, he returned about 15 minutes later in different clothing and charged the table, knocking it over. He grabbed one of the petitions and took off running across the parking lot.
One of the petitioners chased after him screaming for help. A passerby in a vehicle stopped his car and jumped out, tackling the man and retrieving a torn petition. The passerby was injured in the altercation.
The Wheat Ridge Police Department is investigating and looking for the suspect. Jen Clay, a police records technician said it could be Monday before the report is ready. Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of the suspect should call Wheat Ridge police at (303) 237-2220.
Sara Spaulding, the public information officer for Wheat Ridge Police, confirmed police have video and pictures of the altercation. Complete Colorado has requested copies of everything and will update this story when they become available.
Pallozzi said the altercation makes her a bit skittish, but she is now more aware of safety precautions for circulators, but it hasn’t ended her resolve to recall Governor Polis.
“This was an extreme measure,” Pallozzi said. “They are not letting democracy work. There is a lot of money on the Polis side trying to get in the way . The sad thing is they call me these words when they have no idea what kind of person I am.”