A Sisters man is facing criminal charges after allegedly interrupting a Sisters Park & Recreation District youth football practice to chase and threaten two players who had bullied his son.

John David Wetherell, 38, made his initial appearance in Deschutes County Circuit Court on Wednesday to answer to two misdemeanor counts — menacing and second-degree disorderly conduct. He was ordered to have no contact with his juvenile accusers, who were identified in his indictment only by their initials.

Wetherell said after his arraignment he’d been defending his son from tormentors.

“The underlying problem wasn’t a parent chasing anybody,” he said. “The underlying problem is that Sisters Middle School kids are ridiculous and bullies, and my kid was the victim of it.”

At around 3:44 p.m. on Oct. 2, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office received a call that a man was chasing players during a youth football practice at Sisters Middle School off state Highway 242.

When deputies arrived, Wetherell told them he’d received a call from his son saying he needed to be picked up because he was quitting the team due to bullying, according to sheriff’s Sgt. William Bailey.

“Wetherell said, ‘No you’re not. You wait there,’” Bailey said.

Wetherell was cited at the scene and given a court date.

His next court appearance is Dec. 12, when he’s scheduled to enter a plea.

Local school districts have been working to combat bullying at the middle school level, according to education leaders who spoke to The Bulletin for a recent two-part series on the subject.

— Reporter: 541-383-0325, gandrews@bendbulletin.com

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