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Pennsylvania school guard 'hero' fired for being too old: lawyer

(Reuters) - A 70-year-old security guard, wounded in April while helping subdue a student on a stabbing spree at Pennsylvania high school, was fired with no good reason just before the beginning of the new school year, his lawyer said on Monday.

As a consequence, John Resetar intends to file a lawsuit alleging age discrimination, his lawyer Tim Dawson said.

Resetar helped apprehend Alex Hribal at Franklin Regional High School after the teenaged suspect allegedly stabbed 20 students with a pair of 8-inch kitchen knives. In the process, the unarmed guard was knifed in the chest.

"He was stabbed on a Wednesday and he returned to work the following Monday, after having a stab wound an inch below his heart," Dawson said. "He's a young 70, he was a linebacker and he can certainly still perform his job," he added.

With the new school year getting under way on Monday, Resetar is unemployed, said Dawson, who called his client a "hero."

Resetar worked for Capital Asset Protection Inc, a Pittsburgh-area company contracted to provide security to the Franklin Regional School District. Resetar worked in the school for nine years before he was told via certified mail that he was being dismissed, the lawyer said.

An Aug. 4 letter to Resetar from Jeffrey Dahlke, Capital Asset's regional security operations manager, reads: "Franklin Regional and Capital came to the conclusion that ... it is best ... to relieve you of your duties at the school."

The letter, which went on to say that Resetar's employment was being terminated by Capital, was given to Reuters by Dawson.

The school district said Resetar's termination was unexpected.

"We had communication with the company and are trying to get more information, but it wasn't really in our realm of control," said Mary Katherine Reljac, an assistant superintendent with the district. She said the school was surprised to be mentioned in the letter.

Capital Asset could not be reached immediately for comment.

(Reporting by Frank McGurty; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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