Man charged in threat to candidate going door to door
By BRIAN STANLEY firstname.lastname@example.org October 3, 2012 3:50PM
Updated: November 5, 2012 11:35AM
JOLIET — A political candidate said he was threatened by a man with a gun while he was campaigning door to door Tuesday.
Ryan Alm, a Republican running for 86th District state representative, was walking alone around 11:30 a.m. in the West Acres neighborhood when he began talking with an elderly woman at her front door.
“I was wearing my red polo shirt and jeans. She and I were having a nice conversation about some different issues when a guy rode by on a bicycle and shouted, ‘What are you doing here?,’” Alm said.
After Alm said he was a candidate, the rider went to a house across the street. Alm said he and the woman continued their conversation before the man walked over and repeated his question.
Police reports identify the suspect as John M. Cirricione, 31, of 2203 Arden Place.
“She said everything was OK and he walked back again. We finish talking and I go back to my car where the guy comes up and pulls up his shirt to show he’s carrying a handgun in his waistband,” Alm said.
“He told me, ‘You better get out of here,’ and I asked if he was threatening me,” Alm said. “He pulled the gun out, cocked it and told me to leave again.”
Alm felt he remained “surprisingly calm” throughout the confrontation more as the result of disbelief than bravery.
The candidate said the man told him his name was “John” when he asked, and Alm said he planned to call the police.
“He told me, ‘Go ahead. I know all the cops.’ I got in my car. He slammed the door and I drove around the corner to call 911,” Alm said.
Police arrived and Alm identified Cirricione as the man who threatened him.
“Officers found a realistic-looking Airsoft pistol, a bb gun that resembles a real firearm,” Police Chief Mike Trafton said.
Cirricione was also reportedly carrying brass knuckles when he was arrested on charges of aggravated assault and unlawful use of a weapon. He was released on bond.
After spending a few hours at home, Alm returned to pass out more literature and knock on doors “a few streets away.”
“I’ve knocked on thousands of doors and I have to think this is an anomaly,” he said. “So I went back out. I don’t think I’ll get struck by lightning twice.”