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Police: Marine punched during national anthem

By Jaccii Farris, Reporter, JFarris@wfmz.com
Published On: Jun 12 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 13 2013 05:54:29 PM CDT

An Allentown man has been cited for allegedly punching a Marine in uniform during the national anthem.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

An Allentown man has been cited for allegedly punching a Marine in uniform during the national anthem.

It happened Wednesday night during Parkland High School's graduation at Stabler Arena.

It's a story that's causing outrage on the Internet and in the community.

At Wednesday's Parkland High School Graduation, 2009 Parkland graduate and Marine Cameron McNeill reportedly asked Richie Costello, a 2011 graduate, to stop talking during the national anthem.

Witnesses say they didn't hear exactly what McNeill said and were shocked to see Costello start punching the uniformed Marine.

They say McNeill didn't fight back.

Both men were led out by Lehigh University Police and Costello was cited with disorderly conduct.

He later tweeted: "Sorry for protecting my stuff..when a train military grown (expletive) man wants to hit a young man who was shot 3 times and can't walk."

Costello is referring to a March 17th incident when he was shot three times in the torso on Chew Street in Allentown.

But the fact Costello was allegedly talking and punching a Marine during the national anthem is getting him little sympathy.

On Facebook people are sounding off about the incident, commending McNeill for: "his self control" saying he "is a credit to his uniform and the UNITED STATES of AMERICA!"

Another commenter saying, about Costello: "I feel bad for the graduate that had him there as a guest."

But some played devil's advocate, saying while talking during the national anthem is disrespectful, it's not illegal, saying: "Wasn't the Marine being just as disrespectful in talking during the National Anthem when telling him to stop? Wouldn't a finger to his lips suffice? Did he ask or "order"? That would make a big difference in how his "request" was received."

McNeill says he is reserving comment on the incident.

Costello tweeted about the incident but has made no official comment.