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School officials honor 3 who stopped alleged intruder

March 25, 2013

School officials Tuesday will commend the administrators and security guard who sprang into action when an angry parent allegedly brandished a BB gun on campus last month.

On behalf of Estancia High School, Newport-Mesa Unified School District board members will honor Principal Kirk Bauermeister, Assistant Principal Michael Sciacca and security guard Xavier Castellano at the board's regular meeting.

On Feb. 15, the two administrators wrestled what they thought was a real gun away from a disgruntled parent and Castellano sprinted through the halls warning classes to go into lockdown, according to school officials.

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Michael McHugh, a 45-year-old Costa Mesa resident, allegedly pulled the replica handgun when Sciacca stopped him from picking up his daughter because of an active restraining order.

"During this difficult and dangerous situation, due to the direct actions of these three staff members, the staff and students at Estancia High School remained safe and calm," a report prepared for the school board states. "Everyone followed the emergency instructions and remained in lockdown until the all clear was given."

McHugh has pleaded not guilty to one felony count each of assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, threat of injury to a school official and possession of a weapon on school grounds.

He has also pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor count of disobeying a court order.

He is expected back in court Thursday.

— Jeremiah Dobruck

Twitter: @jeremiahdobruck

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