Man walking with 2 assault rifles on highway overpass alarms drivers

DAYTON — Dispatchers got multiple calls from panicked drivers who said they saw a man walking along a busy highway overpass with two assault rifles.

As reported on News Center 7 at 6, a Dayton man is behind bars, charged with inducing panic after allegedly pulling out two assault rifles while walking across a freeway overpass.

“It looked like two assault rifles he was carrying in a bag and he repositioned a couple of them,” a 911 caller tells Dayton police dispatchers.

The man, later identified as Phillip Howard, continued his walk across the bridge of Smithville Road over US-35.

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“They’re both slung around his neck and hanging down in front of them,” another 911 caller said.

That information had crews trying to catch up to 53-year-old Howard as quickly as possible.

One caller managed to see him come down the hill past Rally’s and into the backyard of a nearby home.

According to a Dayton police report officers found Howard and grabbed the high-powered weapons he carried.

Howard is facing charges of inducing panic among other drug charges.

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Echo Belew is the mother of three young children.

She said in this day and age, and only a day after the Kansas City Super Bowl Parade shooting, she doesn’t want to take chances.

“It can do a lot of damage quickly,” Belew said.

Ohio’s open carry law does allow people with no felony records to carry weapons openly.

News Center 7 is working to learn if Howard was legally allowed to carry those weapons.

News Center 7 will continue to follow this story.

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