Vot­ing over, but ran­cor is not

Kostin: Repub­li­can sup­porter touted ‘abil­ity to shoot’ dur­ing con­fronta­tion

Greenwich Time - - FRONT PAGE - By Ken Bor­suk

GREEN­WICH — A video of a Green­wich man be­rat­ing a lo­cal cam­paign vol­un­teer on Elec­tion Day was posted on­line late this week, prompt­ing for­mer state rep­re­sen­ta­tive can­di­date Laura Kostin to come for­ward claim­ing she had her own run-in with the GOP sup­porter, a con­fronta­tion, she said, that in­cluded him brag­ging about his skill with guns.

The man in the video is Shawn McDon­nell, a for­mer Green­wich fire mar­shal, who Kostin said is the same man who con­fronted her dur­ing the Green­wich High School home­com­ing foot­ball game on Oct. 25 over place­ment of po­lit­i­cal lawn signs.

“He was scream­ing and yelling and after that con­fronta­tion he came back and started en­gag­ing with us in a weird way about guns,” Kostin said Fri­day. “He was very con­fronta­tional and he was brag­ging about his abil­ity to shoot a gun and that he never misses. Why he en­gaged in that line of dis­cus­sion is un­known to me given our con­fronta­tion mo­ments be­fore.”

Kostin said she did not re­port the in­ci­dent to the po­lice.

“I thought about it, but I thought he might just be some­one who has anger is­sues,” Kostin said. “He is some­one who is

ob­vi­ously a bit volatile.”

McDon­nell strongly de­nied Kostin’s claims on Fri­day, say­ing he would “never have said any­thing like that in a mil­lion years.”

“That is bull—,” McDon­nell said. “I never, ever, ever said any­thing like that. I barely have in­ter­acted with (Kostin) at all and I would never say any­thing like that to any­one.”

He did con­firm that there was a dis­agree­ment be­tween the two on the night of the game over po­lit­i­cal signs. McDon­nell said a group of Repub­li­cans had ar­rived early to set up their signs, but Kostin and other Democrats started putting up their signs in a way that blocked the Repub­li­can ones.

He said he spoke to the Democrats about their signs, but again de­nied any kind of threat was made.

“It’s a to­tal lie and I have no idea why she would say some­thing like that,” McDon­nell said. “If she con­tin­ues to pur­sue it I’ll get an at­tor­ney and it will go to a slan­der suit.”

McDon­nell is a li­censed firearms holder and a com­pet­i­tive shooter.

Kostin in­sisted it hap­pened, how­ever.

“His words are his words and other peo­ple heard them,” Kostin said.

Of the two wit­nesses Kostin said could back up her story, one said he saw the con­fronta­tion and heard McDon­nell men­tion his marks­man­ship skills, though he did not make the same con­nec­tion Kostin did from the re­mark. The other backed up Kostin’s claim that McDon­nell had an ar­gu­ment with her, left and then re­turned.

“He boasted about be­ing skilled with guns and be­ing an ex­cel­lent marks­man,” the wit­ness, who asked not to be iden­ti­fied, said.

Kostin said she did not con­sider it an is­sue to be brought up pub­licly un­til she saw the video of McDon­nell on­line Thurs­day. The video, since deleted, had been posted to the Face­book page of Green­wich res­i­dent Hale McSharry. It shows an Elec­tion Day con­fronta­tion at River­side School, also about the place­ment of cam­paign signs.

In the ex­ple­tive-laden clip, McDon­nell calls McSharry “a scum­bag” and says “all your group is a bunch of scum­bags,” lan­guage which McDon­nell said on Fri­day he re­gret­ted us­ing.

McDon­nell said the full video, not just the por­tion that was posted, would show he had been

“He was brag­ging about his abil­ity to shoot a gun and that he never misses.” Laura Kostin, state rep­re­sen­ta­tive can­di­date

goaded a bit into re­act­ing, but he still shouldn’t have lost his tem­per. He said he didn’t know McSharry but if he saw him again, he would apol­o­gize to him.

“I fully re­gret it,” McDon­nell said. “I shouldn’t have re­acted like I did and I pro­fusely apol­o­gize.”

Kostin said she does not feel as if she is in any dan­ger.

“I don’t feel afraid of this in­di­vid­ual,” Kostin said. “I don’t want to see him again as he is an in­tim­i­dat­ing in­di­vid­ual but I don’t think he’s a threat to me.”

The episode is the lat­est in what has con­tin­ued to be an ac­ri­mo­nious elec­tion cy­cle in Green­wich, even after the elec­tion it­self.

Kostin came un­der heavy crit­i­cism from lo­cal Repub­li­cans after she was caught on video on Elec­tion Night call­ing Repub­li­can state Rep. Michael Bocchino “a douche.”

Kostin said on Fri­day she has reached out to Bocchino “to clear the air” but has not heard back. Bocchino has called on Kostin to re­sign from the Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Town Meet­ing but she has said she would not do so.

On Fri­day, Bocchino said he has not re­ceived a phone call from Kostin and “the only apol­ogy that would be re­motely suf­fi­cient at this point would be a pub­lic apol­ogy.”



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