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Anti-Bullying Activist Sucker-Punches Fellow Baseball Coach

"...a confrontational and aggressive bully."

John Clarkson Perry, the founder of an anti-bullying web site, has found himself in deep water after sucker-punching a fellow baseball coach. Perry, the man behind Humanity Against Local Terrorism (HALT), a Canadian web site, has received 12 months of probation and mandatory counseling as a result of his actions.

The incident in question occurred back in 2009 at a Calgary, Canada, batting cage, when Perry got into a verbal altercation with Scott Oldale, a fellow baseball coach. While Oldale was bent over collecting baseballs, Perry allegedly approached him from behind and delivered an uppercut to his face. As a result of the violent punch, the victim received seven stitches and reconstructive surgery on his nasal cavity and bones.

Canadian provincial court Judge Cheryl Daniel was less than pleased with Perry's actions. Canoe.ca has more:

"He took an aggressive, hard-line, bullying position, swore, raised his voice and took a deliberately confrontational stance," Daniel said, in her written ruling.

"He sucker-punched a man whose back was turned, in circumstances that were not objectively threatening in any way to him," she said...

"The role-model Mr. Perry projected for his sons and young team members was that of a confrontational and aggressive bully," Daniel said.

"A person ... who used his fists before engaging his brain to weigh other more reasonable actions."

Perry was convicted of assault causing bodily harm, but he will not be required to serve jail time as a result of his actions. Interestingly, his HALT web site advocates for non-violence and citizen protection from bullying -- a fact of irony that Daniel mentioned in her statements. Perry's web site reads as follows:

Humanity Against Local Terrorism - HALT is committed to preventing bullying (child, cyber, workplace, homophobic, sports, cultural), abuse (child, wife, husband, elderly, parental) and domestic violence. We constantly strive towards a solution to reduce violence, supporting the community and strengthening individuals and families through education, intervention and setting the standard for others to follow...

While the verdict is in, Perry isn't ready to throw in the towel. On the HALT blog yesterday, he posted a self-defense piece. In it, he linked to articles a journalist wrote that he believes were unfair. Then, he goes on to recap his side of the story, saying that he was "guilty until proven guilty." He writes:

I came in and let the other coach know that I had the batting cage booked, which he in turn aggressively told me to leave and come back later...

After trying to reason with this man I just ignored him and starting to move up the 115 lbs pitching machine into place...

After re-setting the machine, he must have realised that I was not going anywhere so he started to pick up the basket of balls and threw them (x2) over the batting cage pitching area.  Then started yelling “I am tired of you f***** guys…”  He is swearing and kicking all the balls over the end of the batting cage...

The coach then came right up to my face and said twice “Do you want to go”; which I said no...

After I said no he immediately turned around and started to lift up the mess (fish line) wall where his bat bag was laying.  I stood there watching him and after I realized he was going for a bat I took a step towards him and hit him to try to stop him from grabbing a bat.

Perry insists that his actions were taken in self-defense and that he will spend the rest of his life, if needed, proving his innocence. There are certainly two sides to every story, so perhaps more details about this case will be uncovered.

One last thing…
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