While canvassing a neighborhood in Pueblo, Colorado for Pueblo United For Angela, a volunteer was arrested over the weekend on a failure to appear warrant which may be related to a domestic violence charge. Elric Franco went door-to-door on the 1600 block of Bunker Hill located on Pueblo’s east side and asked residents who had signed the petition to recall Colorado State Senator Giron to rescind their signatures.
The owner of the house that Franco stood in front of had not signed the recall petition and was completely unaware of both the recall and the anti-gun legislation. When the owner asked why Franco was standing in front of his yard, Franco reportedly replied “it is none of your business you are not on the list, don’t worry about it.” Franco reportedly went on to tell the home owner to go back inside his house.
The back and forth between the Giron canvasser and the home owner escalated and Franco became verbally abusive to the home owner telling him to “get back in your [expletive deleted] house.”
According to the home owner, Franco then threatened to call the police on him and made a phone call. The home owner waited twenty minutes for the police to show up and when they didn’t, he called the police himself. Before the police arrived on the scene, Franco’s campaign coordinator arrived and began to take pictures of the neighbors and the home owner who confronted Franco.
Officer Ballard responded to the call from the home owner and once on scene found that Franco had a warrant out for his arrest on a failure to appear in court on an unrelated charge. According to the Pueblo Chieftain, the charge that prompted Franco’s need to appear in court was criminal mischief, but sources in law enforcement that wish to remain anonymous due to fear of retaliation have claimed that he was charged with domestic violence. At this time, the police report is not publicly available and Media Trackers is unable to confirm what charges spawned the arrest warrant for Mr. Franco.
In what could now be considered projection on the part of the campaign, both Giron and supporters of Senate President John Morse have accused those organizing the recall efforts of employing criminals to gather petition signatures.
A neighbor who spoke with Media Trackers and asked not to be identified due to fears of retaliation, said she was very upset that these people have come to their door with personal information, especially if they have criminal records.
Media Trackers was also told that the campaign coordinator who came to Franco’s aid on Saturday returned to the neighborhood later on with three men described as “thugs” who drove by while filming houses the coordinator pointed out. The coordinator and those who accompanied her also reportedly took down the license plate numbers of vehicles in the neighborhood.
Pueblo United for Angela has flooded local mailboxes with deceptive mailers that have no mention of the anti-gun laws that Giron voted for. The anti-gun laws that went into effect on July 1 inspired two Pueblo natives to form Pueblo Freedom and Rights, a 501(c)(4) issue committee that has headed up the effort to recall Senator Angela Giron.
The deceptive mailers ask petition signers to rescind their signatures. Many of those who signed the petition have opted to send these mailers back to the campaign with messages that they will not rescind. A sampling of those mailers can be viewed below.