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Hearing rescheduled in post-Sept. 11 case A...

October 31, 2002

Hearing rescheduled in post-Sept. 11 case

A preliminary hearing for a former Huntington Beach resident

charged with making a criminal threat has been rescheduled until next

month due to scheduling conflicts.

Steven James McManus, 44, has been charged with two felony counts

of making a criminal threat, including hate crime enhancements, as

well as with five misdemeanors -- two counts of elder abuse, two

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counts of civil rights violations and one count of obstructing a

police officer.

A pre-trial hearing will be held Nov. 14 at the West Justice

Center in Westminster.

Prosecutors allege that after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks,

McManus, a former Marine, threatened to kill an elderly Iranian

couple while they were out on a daily early morning walk Sept. 23.

While driving on Bushard Street, McManus spotted the couple and

made a sudden U-turn and parked his car, police said.

Police said he approached the couple, asked them where they were

from and then told them to cross the street or he would kill them.

Fearing for their safety, the couple crossed the street, where a

neighbor picked them up and drove them to the home of their son, who

lived nearby, police said. Another neighbor who saw McManus threaten

the couple called police and directed them to his home.

Officers arrived at his home later that afternoon to interview

him. He was taken into custody and later released.

If convicted on all counts, McManus could face eight years in

prison.

-- Jose Paul Corona

Substitute appears in court on sex charges

A 35-year-old teacher made an initial court appearance Friday in

Santa Ana to address several counts of sexually related criminal

charges.

Todd Jerome Haluch of Huntington Beach is facing a total of 22

counts ranging from oral copulation with someone under 14, oral

copulation with someone under 16, lewd acts upon a child, using a

minor for a sex act, unlawful sexual intercourse with someone under

16, witness intimidation and one count of distributing and/or

duplicating child pornography, said Beth Costello, an Orange County

deputy district attorney.

Haluch, a former substitute teacher in the Newport-Mesa Unified,

Huntington Beach City, Garden Grove and Los Alamitos school

districts, was arrested last month after he was accused of engaging

in sexual acts with several female students.

Haluch will have be back in court on Nov. 14 for a pre-trial

hearing and will have to appear again on Dec. 5 for a preliminary

hearing, Costello said.

The incidents reportedly occurred between 1997 and 2001.

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