PawSox Stadium Opponent “Intimidated” by Cranston Police After Calling Fung

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

 

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Cranston Mayor Allan Fung

A local radio host - and opponent to a taxpayer-funded PawSox stadium in Providence -- said he was "intimidated" by the Cranston Police after calling Cranston Mayor Allan Fung to to ask about police detail at a PawSox "listening forum" held at the Cranston Library on Monday evening. 

David Fisher, co-host of The Coalition, said he reached out to the Mayor at his home number on Monday  -- and then proceeded to get calls from the Cranston Police's criminal investigation unit later that night, and the next day.

"I wanted to know why there was detail at the event on Monday -- there hadn't been any detail at these events to date, so as a member of the press, I looked up Mayor Fung's home number online and called him around 9 PM on Monday," said Fisher.  "I called and explained I was with the Coalition Radio show on WPRO, and that I was looking to find out who requested the detail -- the City of Cranston, or the Paw Sox.  He proceeded to tell me it was "highly inappropriate" for me to be calling him at home."

"So that was the extent of the call," said Fisher. "Several hours later, I got a call from the Cranston Police Department -- the criminal division -- it was sometime after 11.  They then proceeded to call me again Tuesday morning."

"The first call was from a Sgt. Michael Gates, the second from a Captain Sean Carmody  to 'verify a conversation you had with Mayor Fung last night' - Gates identified himself as a member of the Cranston PD Criminal Investigation Unit," said Fisher. "I think it's intimidation - it's not a question about intent, it's how the recipient takes the actions. And I was intimidated by these calls."

Neither Gates nor Carmody respond to request for comment on Tuesday. 

"Mr. Fisher called Mayor Fung on his home phone at approximately 9:00 and identified himself as someone associated with WPRO, although he is not a member of the WPRO news staff," said Mayor Fung spokesperson Carlos Lopez.  "'[The Mayor] had not heard of him and when he asked Mr. Fisher to follow the normal procedure to arrange an interview, he became confrontational and belligerent.  Mayor Fung contacted his staff and the Cranston Police to ask them to confirm the nature of this unusual phone call."

Fisher refuted the assessment of the call.  

"Given how accessible many other elected officials have been to The Coalition, I find it odd and thoroughly disturbing that the chief executive of one of Rhode Island's largest communities seems to think himself "above the fray" as it were," said Fisher. "This is laughable. I comported myself in a manner befitting any reporter who takes his job seriously. I identified myself as the co-host of The Coalition, and mentioned that we aired on Saturday evenings on WPRO. I never said I was an employee of the station, because I am not."

"To characterize my behavior as "confrontational and belligerent" is truly an attempt to have the tail wag the dog," continued Fisher. "It was, in fact, Mayor Fung who became confrontational and belligerent towards me. I even offered to have an 'off the record conversation' with the Mayor, at which point he accused me of "harassment." He then said that I "need(ed) to contact him through his press secretary" at which point I said I would do just that and wished him a good night."

Event Detail Questioned

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David Fisher

Fung's office confirmed on Tuesday that police detail was requested for the library "listening session" by the Pawtucket Red Sox ownership group.  

"I can tell you officially that the PawSox did order the detail. They called in on 7/18 for one officer for a four hour assignment for $173.54," said Carlos Lopez in Fung's office. "It's being billed to them, attention to Matt White."

​"Baseball RI is covering the community conversation expenses," confirmed Baseball RI spokesperson Patti Doyle.  "The detail - also our expense - was out of consideration for the library venue.  We thought we owed it to our host to be on the quieter side and some of the sessions have been lively. Details will be used judiciously, probably only in settings in which we need to be respectful of others nearby."

Fisher said that he questioned the need for detail to be present at a listening forum. 

"If the detail was hired by the Paw Sox, the cop is not there to enforce laws, he's there to prevent physical altercations. This is why clubs hire detail, I've worked in the restaurant business for a long time. They're there to prevent physical altercations, in the event that anyone advanced on Dr. Stenberg," said Fisher. "Outside of that contingency, what reason is there for detail to be there?"

David Norton, who spearheads the Organize Pawtucket movement, said he questioned the rationale for detail, as well. 

"I personally felt extremely intimidated at this meeting because I was told at the last meeting that I was taking close up pictures of young girls! The video AND the audio both show that no one broke any laws and all were respectful at the library! This is NOT the PawSox library where they can just make up the rules of respect! This is a Cranston library where a Cranston resident had his rights violated by an officer that was hired by the PawSox," said Norton.

Fisher said that he wanted to know why the Cranston police reached out to him twice following his call -- and what they intended to do. 

"Frankly, the first question I'd have is whether they're going to pursue any criminal charges," said Fisher. "If there's a warrant, I'll get a lawyer and turn myself in then and then I'll sue."

 

Related Slideshow: Cranston Police Contributions to Allan Fung

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Lt. Stephen Antonucci

12 contributions from Vito Antonucci, City of Providence, Public Properties Division, Chepachet RI. Made from 2008-13 total of $825.

  • 6/16/08 $100
  • 7/28/08 $150
  • 7/28/08 $150
  • 8/22/08 $50
  • 8/22/08 $50
  • 9/20/08 $100
  • 9/20/08 $100
  • 3/07/09 $100
  • 5/18/09 $100
  • 9/13/11 $100
  • 9/29/13 $100

 

8 Contributions from Michelle Antonucci, 60 Pine Ridge Drive, Cranston (PayChex Inc. of EP as employer).  Made from 2008-2013 for $1,060.

  • 6/19/08 $100
  • 8/06/08 $150
  • 8/06/08 $150
  • 9/23/08 $50
  • 9/23/08 $50
  • 4/16/09 $200
  • 10/26/10 $60
  • 10/03/13 $500

 

2 Contributions from Gail Antonucci, 119 Woodview Drive, Cranston (Homemaker)

  • 6/18/08 $100
  • 5/18/09 $100

 

contributions from Kevin Antonucci, 70 Garden Hills Drive, Cranston (City of Cranston)

  • 7/28/08 $150
  • 7/28/08 $150
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Lt. Alan Loiselle

9 Contributions in name of Alan Loiselle, 20 Eastgate Drive, Warwick (City of Cranston as employer)

  • 6/5/08 $186.83 (In-kind, listed as “Hardware and supplies for headquarters”)
  • 6/16/08 $200
  • 6/23/08 $53.37 (In-kind, see above)
  • 7/28/08 $150
  • 7/31/08 $133.36 (In-kind, “Building materials and supplies”)
  • 5/18/09 $100
  • 9/16/08 $127.12 (In-kind, “Building equipment and supplies”)
  • 8/30/10 $100
  • 10/24/10 $50

 

1 Contribution from Robert Loiselle, Loiselle Insurance Agency, Pawtucket.

  • 10/29/08 $100

 

1 Contribution from Martin Loiselle, retired, 180 Potters Ave., Cranston.

  • 6/16/08 $100
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Lt. Carl R. Ricci

7 contributions from a Carl R. Ricci, 76 Northview Ave. Cranston (Phred’s Drugs as employer)

  • 8/20/09 $300
  • 8/30/10 $100
  • 10/30/09 $125
  • 2/25/10 $150
  • 2/23/11 $150
  • 2/21/12 $150
  • 2/21/13 $150

 

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Captain Sean Carmody

2 contributions from Sean P. Carmody, 129 Allens Ave. Cranston (City of Cranston employer)

  • 9/21/08 $100
  • 10/08/08 $200

10 contributions from Melissa Augaitis, 10 Basil Crossing, (Employer, Perspectives Corporation)

  • 6/16/08 $200
  • 3/26/09 $100
    2/25/10 $300
    8/30/10 $250
    10/17/10 $200
    2/23/11 $200
    2/29/12 $150
    6/3/13 $250
    6/25/13 $250
    9/29/12 $500

1 contribution from Maureen Carmody, same address, no employer

  • 7/28/08 $100

 

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Chief Marco Palombo

4 Contributions in name of Michelle Palombo, 4 Jennifer Circle, Cranston (homemaker)

  • 9/18/08 $50
  • 9/13/11 $150
  • 6/25/13 $200
  • 7/22/13 $200
 
 

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