Elementary Principal Holds Paranoid MMA Fighter

A Mission Viejo elementary school principal kept alleged intruder Garret Sahene at bay Friday morning while waiting for sheriff's deputies.

Correction: Principal Don Snyder said he did not physically subdue Garret Sahene.

A 22-year-old mixed martial arts fighter caused a stir at Del Lago Elementary Friday morning in Mission Viejo.

Garret "The Sickness" Sahene, who has a 7-win, 2-loss MMA record, was found allegedly trespassing and in a mentally unstable condition at the school, according to a city statement.

Another MMA fighter was arrested this summer after being discovered nude inside a Mission Viejo church.

Principal Don Snyder kept Sahene at bay, thinking he may have been drunk or high, but deputies later evaluated the fighter and said he was sober, though "extremely paranoid," the city said.

Police arrived and struggled with the possibly disturbed fighter, said the city:

"When deputies attempted to search Sahene, he tried to break free of their grasp and was forced to the ground and restrained.  He suffered a minor cut on his elbow during the altercation."

Sahene was taken to Mission Hospital for a mental evaluation. If he is determined to be mentally unstable, he will be held for a mandatory 72-hour period. If he is determined of sound mind, he will be charged with:

  • trespassing on school grounds
  • obstructing, resisting or delaying a peace office in the performance of their duties
Shripathi Kamath November 03, 2012 at 12:13 AM
"Attack of the MMA Zombies" is proof that Halloween is real and Mike Myers is alive somewhere. But "Sickness" as a middle nombre is rather emetic. "Nausea" or "Irritable Bowel Syndrome" perhaps make for jazzier middle names. This is reminiscent of the college football wide receiver arrested a few years ago for theft, after he was chased down by a member of the band. Yeah, he was that fast. Wait, I got it. Don "The Principal" Snyder. See, that's a great name for a Union Thug doubling up as a MMA fighter! [all in favor say AYE!]
Vicki Lloyd November 03, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Why are you using a photo from Robinson Elementary to illustrate a story about Del Lago?
Karen Rubin November 03, 2012 at 05:53 PM
This is so tragic. It would be interesting to find out which came first. Are they mentally ill before they join the MMA or is it caused by the brutality of the sport? I thought most of that was staged.
Shripathi Kamath November 03, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Let's consider both, assuming of course that they find the "Sickness" and like cohorts ("Melancholy", "He Buffy", "Shoelaces", and "Bob") to be indeed mentally ill. If they were mentally ill *before* they joined the MMA, should we regulate that all people joining the MMA undergo mental health evaluation? If they were damaged *after* joining the MMA should we regulate that MMA has to pay Obamacare times 2 for exercising their freedom to be employed by the job creators? Interesting questions.
deena November 04, 2012 at 04:11 AM
As a parent of a second grade child that attends Del Lago, I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to Mr Snyder and the alert staffers/parents who responded quickly to a potentially dangerous situation for the childen ~who were getting ready to start class. I understand that everyone there on scene risked their own welfare for the childen~we should all be so grateful for the selfless behaivor. I also very much appreciated that Mr Snyder immediately implemented automatic notification calls and emails to alert all parents. Thank you Don~for doing everything and more to keep our precious children safe! Blessings to everyone that assisited as well.
deena November 04, 2012 at 04:13 AM
The picture showing Don in front of a different school is what was available at the time this article was written
Charles November 04, 2012 at 02:24 PM
I would recommend an updated photo be associated with this article within the next 6-12 months.
deena November 04, 2012 at 05:27 PM
For those of us that have children that attend Del Lago ~our concerns and gratitude are with the content of the article.
Peter Schelden (Editor) November 05, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Well, that's the only photo I could find of Principal Snyder on Friday afternoon (after the school day ended). I'd be happy to update it with a fresh photo. Do you have one?
Peter Schelden (Editor) November 05, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Thanks Deena!
Jamie November 06, 2012 at 12:07 AM
I'm a Robinson parent and when Don Snyder was principal at our school I knew we were in good hands. Way to go Snyder! Del Lago is lucky to have you!!!
lisa spice November 06, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Don Snyder is the only SVUSD principal who could smack down an MMA fighter. We miss him at Robinson!
Don Snyder November 06, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Thank you for all of the kind comments. However, I feel compelled to set the record straight. Yes, Mr. Sahene did wander onto the parking lot at Del Lago. Yes, he was extremely upset and very paranoid. After speaking with him, it was obvious to me that he was either under the influence of drugs or possibly had a mental illness and was off his medication. After we notified the Sheriff's Department Mr. Sahene willingly stayed with me until they arrived. At no time did I lay hands on him or hold him down. When the Sheriffs arrived, due to his appearance and erratic behavior they, rightfully, tried to pat him down to make sure everyone, including Mr. Sahene, was safe. At that point, he refused to comply and attempted to break free, necessitating the officers to subdue him physically. While the thought of a 60 year old elementary school principal physically holding down a 22 year old mixed martial arts fighter makes for an interesting story, it is simply not true. Don Snyder, Principal, Del Lago Elementary School
Shripathi Kamath November 06, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Don "Debbie Downer" Snyder just crushed another dream. Here I was, barely recovered from the depression of being stood up, again, for an indoor lacrosse session with Lady Dracula the day before Halloween, but the image of a middle-aged man putting the hurt on some pituitary case was something that I had going. I suppose I'll now have to look into that Do-it-yourself-Seppuku kit I saw online. This glass-half-full stuff just is not cutting it! Thanks Don, thanks A LOT!


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