Officer goes viral after leaving rifle unattended at Ohio standoff

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A neighbor says he was shocked when an Ohio police officer left his rifle unattended during a standoff. (KTRK)

Two police departments are at odds over responsibility for a rifle left out in the open, unattended and propped up against a cruiser during an incident involving a barricaded man.

Police in Dayton, Ohio said one of their officers made a "mistake" when he left a patrol rifle near a sidewalk during the domestic situation, WCPO-TV reports.

It's a mistake that ended up going viral.

The incident began last week when an allegedly drunk man became violent with another person at his home after losing his job.

Bellevue Police Officer Mark Chapman, who was leading negotiations with the suspect, handed his rifle to a Dayton police officer for safekeeping after the suspect told him he'd talk, but only after dropping the gun.

Body cam video shows the exchange, as Chapman hands the rifle over to the officer before going to speak with the suspect.

After the suspect was taken into custody without incident, another officer tells Chapman neighbors found his rifle unattended.

"I gave it to Brett to hold when I came across the street," Chapman says.

"And Brett put it down," the other officer replies.

One neighbor, resident Matt Hass, snapped videos and photos of the rifle and called out police on Facebook. The post was shared nearly 2,000 times since the incident.

Bellevue Chief of Police Lee Estepp said he can't remember something like this happening in his 30 years on the force, but doesn't believe Chapman did anything wrong.

"As far as I am concerned, he should be commended for his ability in what he did with the subject to get him to come out," he said. "Everybody was safe. Nobody was injured. I know it looks bad with the gun being left out but under the circumstances, mistakes happen."

The chief invited the neighbor to watch the body camera footage with Bellevue Police anytime.
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gunsu.s. & worldstandoffviralviral videopolice officerOhio