State Rep. Candidate Ryan Alm Menaced at Gunpoint While Campaigning

Alm, a Republican candidate for the 86th District house seat, was threatened at (BB) gunpoint Tuesday and told to get out of the neighborhood.

OUTSIDE CHICAGO -- There's rough politics, and then there's staring down the barrel of a gun while you're out campaigning in the middle of the day.

And that's what Republican 86th District state house candidate Ryan Alm said happened to him while he was walking the streets of Joliet's west side and knocking on doors Tuesday afternoon.

"It couldn't be stranger," Alm said. "I couldn't imagine this would ever happen."

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Alm said he was speaking with an older woman outside her home near the corner of Madison Street and Black Road about 1 p.m. when a young man rode by on a bicycle and asked, "Is there a problem here."

Alm assured the cyclist there was no problem, that he was merely having a "nice conversation" with a potential voter.

The young man pedaled off but returned soon after on foot to order the candidate to "get the f--- out of this neighborhood," Alm said.

He then lifted his shirt and showed off what appeared to be a semi-automatic pistol stuck in the waistband of his shorts, said Alm, who asked the gunman if he was threatening him.

"You better believe I'm threatening you," the gunman replied, said Alm, who told how the young man threatened that he would  "shoot you're f---ing head off."

The young man brandished and racked the pistol, Alm said, and pointed it straight at him.

"I was actually very calm," said Alm, who formerly worked as a paralegal in the felony division of the Will County State's Attorney's Office. "I'm not saying I was brave or strong. I was just calm in that moment."

Alm stepped away and called 911, he said, even though the gunman claimed to "know all the cops in the neighborhood."

Four police officers showed up almost immediately, Alm said, but the gunman had run into his house across the street from the elderly woman's residence.

The gunman's mother let the police into the house, Alm said, and told them how her son had tossed away a BB gun as he ran inside.

Alm said the person who allegedly menaced him looked very young, and he was concerned that a teenager was starting his life off on a bad course. But the police told him the BB gunman was actually 31 years old and that this wasn't the first time he'd been in trouble.

In addition to the BB gun, police said, the man, John Cirricione of 2203 Arden Place, was allegedly carrying brass knuckles. Cirricione was taken into custody on charges of unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated assault in connection with the incident.

Cirricione was later released on his own recognizance.

Alm said Cirricione was "completely agitated" while he was threatening him.

"It was bizarre," he said.

"I don't know if it was politically motivated," Alm added, noting that several of Cirricione's neighbors had planted political signs in support of his Democratic opponent, Larry Walsh Jr.

Alm said the incident has not put him off campaigning or meeting the public, and that it has instead energized him.

"I've knocked on hundreds of doors, thousands of doors," he said, "and no one's ever pulled a gun on me."

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Valerie Jansen October 03, 2012 at 12:22 AM
There is no way that Larry Walsh Jr would have anything to do with Ryan Alm being harassed by a weirdo with a BB gun. Ryan Alm used to work in the Felony Unit until he was demoted because of working on a private attorney's work during office hours.
Lynn Davis-Livesay October 03, 2012 at 12:53 AM
This is a complete falsehood. Alm was never demoted due to working on a private attorneys cases during work hours. There is nothing in the Candidate's files, nothing on record, nothing to support these statements. Further, Candidate Alm never accused Walsh Jr. of any wrongdoing. It's individual behavior of this individual.
Steven Jackson October 03, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Valerie, mind your own business.
Lynn Davis-Livesay October 03, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Again, this comment is a total falsehood. Candidate Alm was not demoted due to working on a private attorneys work. There is nothing what so ever to support these claims and is a libel statement. Further the Candidate did nothing to accuse the other candidate. When a person walks up with a gun and doesn't ask for money and bothers someone 3 times to leave an area, there's more than what meets the eye. Never has Walsh Jr. been accused of anything. This was an individual acting out in his own way.
Jane Doe October 03, 2012 at 05:22 AM
Trust me, this was NOT political! This was nothing more than a deranged crackhead with a long and very serious violent history.
Matt Baron October 03, 2012 at 07:23 AM
Excellent reporting by Joe Hosey.....this level of detail is rarely found these days.
Flora Dora October 03, 2012 at 03:01 PM
I agree, Matt. This was a well written story But a very disturbing one. I hope Alm wins. He kept his cool in very frightening circumstances!
Richard Sacco October 03, 2012 at 05:15 PM
How strange, usually it is a repulican pointing a gun at somebody.
Jim October 03, 2012 at 05:47 PM
How does one "rack" a 31 year old BB gun? Racking is a descriptive word for pulling the slide mechanism of a semi-auto pistol back so a round can be engaged into the firing mechanism. Sometimes a PR ploy bites you in the ares.
John Bahn October 03, 2012 at 05:48 PM
I'm confused. I thought it was illegal to have a gun in Chicago or even Illinois??? A 32 year old man living at home with mom...now that's an appropriate description of a loser.
Chester Rook October 03, 2012 at 06:51 PM
There are BB guns that have the ability to have the slide pulled back, but it has no purpose other than to look like a real semi-auto. There are airsoft guns that have this same ability. It's just for show. Also, the BB gun wasn't 31 years old, the crackhead was.
Chester Rook October 03, 2012 at 06:53 PM
It's only illegal to carry a gun on you like in your pocket, waistband, car, etc. You can have one in your house. What this guy did was illegal.
Lynn Davis-Livesay October 03, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Jim, it's not a PR Ploy. This was an independent news report. The gun was a large black automatic-looking gun, that the top of the gun was cocked-back on the top of the gun. Does it really matter what gun it was? When someone pulls out a gun and threatens you with your life, what is one supposed to do.. Ask the perpetrator for the make and model, the clip size, where one bought it at? So now its Alm's fault? He was minding his business "across the street" from this individual. The person accosted the Candidate. When you're threatened what... you start a conversation.. "Hey hows it going.. where'd you purchase your gun at, it looks nice!"... Really.
Gary Smith October 03, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Prove it !!!
Gary Smith October 03, 2012 at 09:55 PM
If we point a gun at someone, it's self defense against a drugged up Democrap.
Gary Smith October 03, 2012 at 09:57 PM
In Chitcago, crooks are the only ones allowed to carry guns.
John October 03, 2012 at 10:32 PM
And no one said Walsh had anything to do with it but thanks for just making your own assumption. The only comment said was he didn't know if it was politically motivated ie being a republican in a democratic strong hold. To bad people are so lazy to read or comprehend.
Scotty October 04, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Are you implying inner city gang bangers are republicans. What a stupid thing to say.
Scotty October 04, 2012 at 02:52 AM
The gunman was 31years old not the gun.
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