A Wood Dale man faces assault charges after threatening his barber with a BB gun over what he claimed was a lousy haircut, authorities said Friday.
The confrontation happened Tuesday at the Barber Lounge, 453 West Irving Park Road, Bensenville. Shop owner Carlos Dighero said one of his barbers was napping in the break room when a customer from earlier in the day burst in.
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"He shook him awake and when he (the barber) opened his eyes, he had a gun right to his head," Dighero said.
Dighero said the suspect, identified by prosecutors as 18-year-old Anthony Oplinger of Wood Dale, was a weekly customer for about two years. On Tuesday, he came in for a trim and was matched with someone other than his usual barber. Afterward, he started "bad-mouthing the haircut and bad-mouthing the barber," according to Dighero.
"The barber told me he kept changing it up, changing it up, and when he was done with it, he still wasn't happy," the shop owner said.
Dighero said Oplinger paid for the do and left, then came back a couple hours later. As he walked to the employee break room, he lifted his shirt and displayed a pistol tucked in his waistband to another barber who was cutting a customer's hair.
"They were freaked out," said Dighero, of Melrose Park. "They thought it was a real gun, and he played it up like it was."
Dighero said the barber who was threatened managed to talk Oplinger into leaving. The shop owner later called police and gave them Oplinger's name, leading to his arrest.
Dighero, who opened the Barber Lounge about three years ago, added it's common at any barbershop to hear complaints from time to time, but the BB gun episode left him rattled.
"I've been cutting hair for 10 years and I've never seen anything like that before -- not even close," he said.
Oplinger, of the 300 block of Hiawatha Trail, was charged with unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated assault. He has no prior criminal history, Assistant State's Attorney Kevin Laude said in bond court Friday.
DuPage County Judge Elizabeth Sexton set bail at $30,000, meaning Oplinger would have to post $3,000 to be released. His next court date is Dec. 9.