By Monica Luhar, India-West Staff Reporter, Nov. 29, 2013
A fifth year Indian American University of California-Irvine student who brought a loaded firearm to campus last week has been released from Orange County Jail after posting a bail amount of $100,000.
Manas Moole Reddy, 28, was arrested on grounds of possessing a loaded firearm on campus, according to the UC Irvine Police Department. On Nov. 20, he was charged with three felony counts: Possession of a loaded firearm on a college campus, unlawful possession of a firearm, and possession of ammunition by a prohibited person.
If convicted, Reddy could face a maximum sentence of four years in state prison, according to a statement from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Reddy has been ordered to stay away from the campus pending further investigation of the case, according to a court order. The UCIPD has issued a community-wide alert, urging students and the public to call 911 if Reddy reenters the campus.
UC Irvine media relations spokesperson Cathy Lawhon explained to India-West that on Nov. 18, a female student who had walked past Reddy noticed that he had a revolver in his hand, which he tried to stick back into his book bag.
“He was observed with the gun by a fellow student who was quick and courageous and observant and did exactly what we encourage our students to do, which is be aware of the surroundings and say something if something looks off or unsafe,” Lawhon said.
During the time of Reddy’s arrest, Lawhon said police noted he was very calm. Reddy was arrested near the Ayala Science Library on campus, after he was spotted “carrying a shoulder bag in front of his chest, and clutching a firearm inside the bag with his left hand.”
A campus emergency messaging system known as ZotAlert was in the process of being sent out, shortly before officers had already reported that the subject was in custody, according to the UCIPD.
Under the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act, campuses are not allowed to disclose the type of disciplinary action of the student.
“The discipline of individual students is privileged information…so we can’t talk about what the campus discipline is of the student; however, legally he has a stay away order and would be arrested if he came on campus,” Lawhon explained to India-West.
Reddy appeared in court Nov. 20 and pleaded not guilty, according to OCDA spokesperson Farrah Emami. Reddy will have a pre-trial hearing Dec. 2 at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach, Calif.
As of now, Reddy has retained an attorney, defense attorney Michael Guisti.
Attorney Guisti told India-West that Reddy has been charged with three felonies, and is out on $100,000 bail.
“We’re still trying to get through all of the evidence and find out what actually happened,” said Guisti.
Guisti said that Reddy was an undergraduate student who came back to UC Irvine to obtain his second degree in urban planning.
“This is a very scary thing for the family to go through. The family lives in the other part of the United States. Everyone’s in a lot of stress,” said Guisti.
There is still no information as to why Reddy brought the gun to campus, or what his motives were.