Report: 'Nose Hill Gentlemen' Were Calgary Stampede Promoters Giving Away Free Tickets

Amid a stampede of criticism directed at a Kalamazoo cop who publicly decried his inability to use his off-duty handgun on a pair of overly friendly "gentlemen" during a visit to Calgary, a report has emerged that the two men who "accosted" Walt Wawra and his wife in Nose Hill Park were actually Calgary Stampede promoters giving away free tickets.

"The denouement to the #NoseHillGentlemen story is this: the two guys were handing out free @CalgaryStampede passes," tweeted Calgary Cultural Ambassador Jenn Lutz late last night.

Lutz pointed to comments left by readers in a Kalamazoo Gazette report on Wawra's controversial letter claiming they were approached by the same men and offered passes to the Stampede's centennial celebration free of charge.

Lutz says the two promoters were representing Calgary Oil.

However, in a new post this morning, Kalamazoo Gazette reporter Rosemary Parker says she spoke with the media relations manager for the Stampede, and had been told the report was false.

"I have not been made aware of anything like that," Doug Fraser told Parker.

Meanwhile, Wawra appears to be in hiding, refusing all interview requests. But the assistant chief of Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, Brian Uridge, did release a statement in support of Wawra.

"We have reviewed the article," Uridge told the Gazette. "Officer Wawra was simply exercising his right to free speech as a private citizen using social media."

Incidentally, Wawra's previous claim to fame was a 2011 letter to the editor of the Kalamazoo Gazette, in which he took issue with President Obama's invitation of Common to the White House.

"As Christians, we are called to pray for those in authority over us," he wrote then. "I ask you to exercise this command of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give our President wisdom, knowledge and the conviction to live a life of righteousness."

[photos via Getty, Instagram]