After filing a complaint with police alleging he felt threatened by an anonymous East Haven Patch user's comment, East Haven Vine blogger has called for Democratic Town Committee Chairman to step down after the investigation revealed it was Ruocco who made the posts.
No charges were filed by the in Connecticut against Ruocco as a result of McCann's complaint, and the case is now closed.
But the blogger — who also called for Mayor Joseph Maturo's resignation in the wake of his now — said this is not the way he feels someone in town leadership should behave online, or elsewhere.
"He should resign. This is ridiculous," McCann told East Haven Patch.
The DTC chairman, however, said while embarrassed he had used an alias to engage in the back and forth banter with McCann, instead of his , he was pushed to that point out of frustration and anger in response to what he says are McCann's "cyberbullying" tactics.
And because of this, he has no intention of resigning.
"It was just my breaking point," he said. "And I wanted to put Dan McCann in his place."
He added that felt the whole matter was frivolous, and a desperate attempt by some to damage his political and personal reputation within the community.
"It's making a big thing over of a foolish thing," Ruocco said.
McCann's complaint to the East Haven Police Department stems from a series of comments posted on the East Haven Patch article: . The article was originally published on Dec. 21. But the comments continued well into the Christmas holiday weekend.
McCann said while commenters at times can engage in personal attacks and name-calling in article comment threads, he felt the posts from an East Haven Patch user called "," which started on Dec. 23, crossed the line.
In particular, McCann said he felt threatened by the use of the words "BANG!!BANG!!" that were included at the end of several of the comments posted via Josy Wales on the article.
According to the police report, McCann stated he was concerned for his safety at the time, and wanted to "find out who is behind the screen name 'Josy Wales.' He requested a search warrant for an IP address be conducted on 'Josy Wales.'"
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The search warrant was granted, and served on AOL — Patch's parent company — "to obtain any and all information which would assist in identifying the person using the screen name 'Josey Wales,'" East Haven Police Sgt. Bruce Scobie states in his report.
The investigation eventually led police to discover the account was created by Ruocco. And during his talk with police, Ruocco admitted that he was the person who used the screen name 'Josy Wales' in December.
"He did not intend the posting to be threatening in nature," Scobie stated in his report.
The detective added that "States Attorney David Strollo reviewed the facts contained in this investigation and declined to prosecute."
McCann was then notified of the outcome. And the case closed.
McCann admits that he does not feel personally threatened by Ruocco in any way.
"But you know what? You make comments like that online — who knows," he said.
McCann added that he could have appealed the decision not to charge Ruocco, and sought the chairman's arrest, but he decided not to pursue the matter further.
"I don't want this to escalate, to become a political football," he said.
He also pointed to the fact that Ruocco has been a frequent and vocal critic of anonymous commenting on the site, even going so far as posting an opinion piece "' on East Haven Patch.
"Write what you want, but have respect for other people's opinions," McCann said, adding that he feels Ruocco used the "Josy Wales" alias as a vehicle to get the blogger and frequent Capone Administration critic to "shut up."
"He just can't handle the truth," he said. "And I just want people to be aware of what he's doing, behind the scenes."
'My Breaking Point'
Ruocco, however, reiterated the fact that he felt pushed to limit by McCann — and other East Haven Patch commenters — to employ the use of the alias to counter their alleged "cyberbulling" tactics.
"And that's why I did that," he said.
"I'm not sorry I did it… if it slowed him down a bit, exposed him," he said referring to McCann.
He added that he has never used an alias to comment on the site before or after that time period.
"It was just my breaking point," he said.
Ruocco continued, saying that his political opponents have for years tried to find "anything on me," but have instead come up empty.
"So, they're going to try to make a big issue out of an anonymous blog," he said.
"They are looking at this as an opportunity to embarrass me," the chairman said.
Ruocco also said he felt that this entire incident could lead to a slew of other "ridiculous" and frivolous complaints regarding online comments — at a great waste of taxpayer money.
"Lots of people sign on there with false names… every one of us could file a complaint," he said, adding that he has frequently felt personally targeted by other commenters.
"Am I supposed to run down to the police station filing a complaint every single time that happens with a comment," Ruocco said. "I'm shocked at the amount of time wasted on this."
He added that he knows the negative comments will come with this article about the investigation. But while embarrassed he felt pushed to the point of using the Josy Wales persona, he'll simply weather the storm.
"And if Dan McCann thinks I'm resigning, he's got another thing coming," he said.