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Cleveland stabbing victim shares safety concerns after Ohio drops concealed carry knife restrictions

Cleveland leaders work to restore city knife law
CLE stabbing victim shares concerns over Ohio dropping concealed carry knife restrictions
Posted at 10:28 PM, Jun 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-23 23:26:09-04

CLEVELAND — Maosha Vales of Cleveland is a survivor of a vicious 2008 knife attack and shared her safety concerns after Ohio passed legislation blocking city restrictions on the size and type of knives that can be concealed carried.

Vales told News 5 she's worried banning restrictions on knives, brass knuckles, cestus, billy clubs, blackjacks, sandbags, switchblade knives, spring blade knives and more statewide could promote more street violence. She hopes the City of Cleveland will prevail in re-establishing its knife law limiting blade length to no more than 2.5 inches.

“It’s just more reason for somebody to cause harm on another person," Vales said. "I came in to try and break up a fight because I just got off work, so I really didn’t know what was going on.”

“I grabbed the knife, but I wasn’t successful with that and I got stabbed over 15 times. Just imagine you’ve got knives that are bigger and bigger people are carrying around, the knife that was that big stabbed me. Just imagine if the knife was this big, and so if she had a bigger knife ain’t no telling what I would have looked like.”

CLE stabbing victim shares concerns over Ohio dropping concealed carry knife restrictions
Maosha Vales was concerned she would never see her four children again after being stabbed 15-times while trying to break-up a fight in 2008.

Judy Martin, Director of Survivors, Victims of Tragedy told News 5 that 2,115 people and children under the age of 25 have lost their lives to street violence in Cuyahoga County since 1990. She agrees Ohio blocking city restrictions on knives could pave the way for more victims.

CLE stabbing victim shares concerns over Ohio dropping concealed carry knife restrictions
Judy Martin, Director of Cleveland's Survivors, Victims of Tragedy is concerned blocking Ohio knife restrictions will promote more street violence.

“So what are we going to do, keep burying our sons and daughters, keep burying our fathers and mothers," Martin said. "How many children do we have to lose."

Cleveland Councilman Michael Polensek told News 5 that he believes the legislation signed by Governor Mike DeWine on June 14 blocking city laws on knife restrictions puts law enforcement and safety forces at greater risk.

“In this legislation, they can carry a sword, they can carry a sword, a concealed sword, I mean is that insane," Polensek said. “Can you understand why people don’t want to be in law enforcement when you have to worry every time you get out of the car to interact with someone, what kind of gun are they carrying, what kind of knife are they going to have concealed.”

CLE stabbing victim shares concerns over Ohio dropping concealed carry knife restrictions
Cleveland Councilman Michael Polensek believes Ohio's knife legislation puts law enforcement at greater risk statewide.

Cleveland Police Chief Wayne Drummond agreed Ohio blocking city knife restrictions will put police officers at higher risk.

“Folks now have the ability the carry guns without a license or training, and now people have the ability to carry all kinds of weapons, so to speak, dangerous items and so forth," Drummond said. “I would hope that Columbus would think further before they make these types of changes to the laws that affect urban areas.”

CLE stabbing victim shares concerns over Ohio dropping concealed carry knife restrictions
Cleveland Police Chief Wayne Drummond hopes Ohio lawmakers will consider restoring city knife restrictions.

But Dean Rieck, Executive Director with the Buckeye Firearms Association and other proponents of Ohio law believes removing knife restrictions doesn't pose an increased safety risk, and better allows law-abiding citizens to conceal carry a knife for protection without increased risk of being unfairly charged with violating the law.

“This was a very uncontroversial bill, there were no opponents testifying against it," Rieck said. "It’s about clarifying the law so people aren’t getting in trouble.”

CLE stabbing victim shares concerns over Ohio dropping concealed carry knife restrictions
Dean Rieck, Executive Director of the Buckeye Firearms Association doesn't believe dropping knife restrictions will increase street violence.

“The point of this is to make sure we don’t have a couple thousand different cities or villages coming up with their own rules. Because when we get down to the point where we’re measuring how long the knife is, or what kind of knife it is, how it was manufactured, it’s confusing. So the answer is to not have a bunch of different laws and have just one consistent set of laws.”

“There are always people who predict that something dire is going to happen after the law passes, and it never does. These laws are written carefully and I think most people are responsible. All we’re trying to do is make sure people can exercise their rights, understand the laws, and law-abiding people aren’t going to get in trouble for violating a rule they don’t understand if they’re not committing a crime or doing anything wrong.”

Still, the Cleveland Director of Public Safety, Karrie Howard is looking into what legal options the city may have to get knife restrictions back up and enforceable within the city limits.

“Our law department is looking at this, we need guidance from of law department to see what we can do and what our options are," Howard said. “It’s concerning when you have more weapons on the street, we don’t need more weapons on the street, we’ve seen violent summers.”

CLE stabbing victim shares concerns over Ohio dropping concealed carry knife restrictions
Karrie Howard, Cleveland Director of Public Safety told News 5 the city will explore legal options to restore city law.

“This is not a responsible act, keeping in mind our citizens, our safety forces, police officers, firefighters, and EMS professionals, we don’t need more weapons on the street in any form."

Meanwhile, Vales is hoping knife restrictions will be put back into effect and told News 5 that the 2008 knife attack that nearly claimed her life changed her perspective on everything.

“After I was repeatedly stabbed, I was thinking about my kids, not being able to see my kids anymore and not being able to walk, not being able to breathe," Vales said. "With that law, you’re just giving people permission to be able to attack people.”