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Parents of man charged in graduation fight speak out

By Rosa Duarte, Reporter, RDuarte@wfmz.com
Published On: Jun 13 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 13 2013 11:07:24 PM CDT

Wednesday night's Parkland High School graduation ceremony at Stabler Arena wasn't typical by any means after a scuffle between two alumni ended with one of the men in police custody.

Wednesday night's Parkland High School graduation ceremony at Stabler Arena wasn't typical by any means after a scuffle between two alumni ended with one of the men being cited by police.

The alleged incident was between 2009 Parkland graduate and Marine Cameron McNeill and 2011 graduate Richie Costello.

Witnesses say Costello punched McNeil after McNeil, who was dressed in uniform turned to tell Costello to be quiet during the National Anthem.

Costello's parents explain to 69 News they were greeting family who had just arrived to the ceremony from out of state during the National Anthem.

They say McNeil didn't just ask Costello to be quiet but forcibly poked him in the chest and said, "Have some respect."

Costello's parents add their son is in no condition to start a fight since he's still in a leg brace, back brace and using a walking cane because of injuries from a shooting incident back in March.

On his Twitter account, Costello later posted "Sorry for protecting my stuff..when a train military grown *** man wants to hit a young man who was shot 3 times and can't walk."

Many on social media are calling McNeil a hero, saying he "is a credit to his uniform and the UNITED STATES of AMERICA!" Lehigh University police cited only Costello in the incident. He was cited for disorderly conduct.

In a text message to 69 News tonight, McNeil says he will provide a statement tomorrow.