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Akron man with rifle confronted by shop owner

Posted: 8:19 PM, Dec 04, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-04 20:19:39-05

Akron police responded to a conflict between an Akron man exercising to his right to openly carry a rifle and pistol and a business owner who told newsnet5.com that he feared for his safety and the safety of others. 

newsnet5.com obtained footage of the original conflict between Daniel Kovacevic and Kangaroo Kutz Barbershop owner Deone Slater. 

Kovacevic told newsnet5.com he was exercising by walking down Exchange Street on Thursday morning. 

“I walk up and down the street for exercise, it just happens that I have guns with me,” Kovacevic said. 

Video shows Kovacevic carrying a rifle on his back and a pistol on a holster on his belt. 

He caught the attention of Slater as he walked in front of the barbershop. 

Slater told newsnet5.com the sight made him fear for his safety and for the safety of University of Akron students across the street.

“I told him to take the guns off give me 10 seconds with him,” said Slater, who acknowledged that he used many profanities in the confrontation. 

Kovacevic called police and a spokesman told newsnet5.com that officers responded to the call and educated the business owner about the open carry law in Ohio. 

National Security Expert Tim Dimoff told newsnet5.com that Ohio is one of 31 states in the country with an open carry law. 

“As long as the firearms are in the open he can carry those in a public place,” Dimoff said. 

He explained that Kovacevic didn’t go as far as "inducing panic" because he did not point the weapon at Slater or threaten him verbally with it. 

newsnet5.com’s cameras were rolling while the pair met Friday morning to discuss their concerns. 

“Why would you handicap the people that would bear weapons responsibly,” Kovacevic asked Slater. 

Slater said that he felt he was doing a public service to make sure that Kovacevic did not have violent intentions. 

"I mean he could have turned around and run loose like Rambo on the building," Slater said. 

The pair shook hands at the end of the discussion and agreed to “continue communicating.” 

Kovacevic said he will not stop carrying his weapons in public as a result of the conflict. 

“I believe that turning back is wrong and continuing forward is right. To turn around is not only cowardly but wrong,” he said. 

The video of Thursday’s argument had been viewed more than 12,000 times by Friday afternoon.

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