A Denver news anchor scolded a mayoral candidate for calling the police after a homeless drug addict exposed himself and defecated in front of the candidate’s three-year-old daughter.
Speaking to local reporter Kyle Clark, Republican candidate Andy Rougeot recalled having to carry his crying daughter home after encountering "a man with his pants around his ankles, using [the park] as a restroom."
"You call 911, call the non-emergency hotline, and nothing happens," said Rougeout, who argued authorities can best serve Denver’s homeless population, and the broader community, by removing them from homeless encampments and "getting them the help they need."
Clark pressed Rougeot on why he would "call 911 on somebody who’s going to the bathroom outdoors" before suggesting that the man "experiencing homelessness" likely just couldn’t find a public restroom. When Rougeot rattled off a list of public restrooms nearby and said that he could see the man using drugs, Clark simply pressed on and asked Rougeot again what he thought about adding more public restrooms in Denver.
The homeless man on drugs exposing himself and defecating in a children's park in front of my 3-year-old daughter wasn't doing it because he couldn't find a public restroom #COPolitics #Denver https://t.co/mzpqMcVhjf
— Andy Rougeot (@AndyforDenver) March 9, 2023
Such is life for the sole Republican mayoral candidate in Denver, a progressive hub that has seen a corresponding rise in homeless encampments and public drug use. An Afghanistan veteran and small business owner, Rougeot is one of 19 candidates vying for the mayor’s office, none of whom are polling at more than 5 percent. Nearly 60 percent of voters are undecided with only a few weeks left to go before the April 4 election, when they will pick their top candidates to head for a runoff.
According to Rougeot, the tense interview demonstrates what's wrong with Colorado politics.
"It was amazing that a journalist like Kyle is acting like a man exposing himself to my daughter while defecating in a public park is acceptable, but a mayor who wants to enforce our laws is extreme," he told the Washington Free Beacon. Denver voters are fed up with homeless encampments and crimes, Rougeot added, which he thinks could help him emerge victorious from the chaotic field.
Denver businesses have begun hiring private security to manage the crime associated with the rise of homelessness and street drug use, the Denver Post reported this week.
Clark, who conducted a series of interviews with mayoral candidates, found even some Democrats insufficiently progressive. Last week he also chided Aurelio Martinez for wanting to limit construction of subsidized housing blocs in Denver’s old neighborhoods and argued that allowing people to park their cars outside their homes was an unfair subsidy for car owners.
Clark took a considerably more amicable tone with progressive candidate Lisa Calderon, who has proposed legalizing homeless encampments, defunding the police, and making Denver more like San Francisco.