Light Wave

U.S. News

‘It was Halloween’ Florida man claims loaded gun was costume accessory

By Jake Beardslee · November 3, 2023

In brief…

  • 22-year-old Florida man brought loaded semi-automatic gun into crowded bar in DeLand on Halloween night
  • Claimed firearm and tactical gear like vest and belt were part of his costume
  • Was arrested and charged after patrons alerted police; released on bond shortly after
A Florida man was arrested for bringing a loaded gun into a bar on Halloween night, claiming it was part of his costume.  Volusia County Branch Jail

A Florida man was arrested on Tuesday night after bringing a loaded semi-automatic handgun into a crowded bar in DeLand, Florida. 22-year old Michael Ribar entered the bar wearing a bulletproof vest, mask, tactical belt, and openly carrying the 9mm gun in a hip holster. Concerned patrons notified police, who arrived around 9pm to find Ribar sitting in the dining area with the visibly holstered weapon, according to The New York Post.

According to the police affidavit, when officers asked Ribar to hand over the firearm, he complied, revealing a live round in the chamber. In addition to the loaded gun, Ribar was wearing a mask, ballistic vest, motorcycle club attire, and a tactical belt equipped with handcuffs, a baton, and medical supplies - earning him a second weapons charge.

When questioned, Ribar allegedly offered several explanations for bringing the loaded gun into the bar. He initially claimed he came straight from a shooting range and “just threw this on,” gesturing to the holster. Ribar also suggested he believed he could carry the gun if he remained in the dining area instead of the bar area. Finally, Ribar admitted the firearm and tactical gear were part of his Halloween costume, saying “I figured because it was Halloween I could try.”

Ribar’s girlfriend contradicted parts of his story, telling police he had not been to a shooting range that day and left home for the bar wearing the outfit - which he had put together nearly 6 hours earlier. She said when she asked Ribar if he really intended to openly carry the gun as part of his attire, he replied affirmatively.

The police report did not specify what Ribar’s costume was meant to portray. At the request of the bar owner, Ribar left the premises prior to his arrest. He was released on a $1,000 bond.