Suspect in Orlando airport gun scare pleads no contest

Michael Pettigrew to serve 10 months in Orange County Jail

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor

ORLANDO, Fla. - A man accused of bringing a simulated firearm to Orlando International Airport, prompting an hours-long standoff, recently pleaded no contest to two charges related to the incident.

Police said Michael Pettigrew, 26, went to OIA on May 30, walked up to the Mears Transportation counter, showed an employee what appeared to be a gun and told her to call 911.

It took police three hours to convince Pettigrew, a former U.S. Marine, to surrender. Authorities later determined the firearm was simulated and could not be fired. 

On Wednesday, Pettigrew entered a plea of no contest to charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer and carrying a concealed weapon as part of a deal struck with prosecutors.

A judge sentenced Pettigrew to 10 months in the Orange County Jail.

"This resolution was agreed upon after consultation with Officer (Christopher) Wadley and in consideration of the defendant’s mental health issues and lack of a civilian criminal history," a spokeswoman from the State Attorney's Office said. 

Pettigrew was also ordered to pay $462.53 to the Orlando Police Department for investigative costs, $100 for the cost of his public defender, $100 in prosecution costs, $50 for an application fee and $418 to the state.

All further hearings in Pettigrew's case have been canceled.

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