Shotgun-Wielding Angler Arrested for Allegedly Shooting at Boaters and a Police Drone
The angler allegedly yelled at boaters for being too close to his lines, then fired a shotgun in their direction
A shotgun-wielding angler who allegedly shot at boaters on an Oregon lake was arrested on June 8. Nicholas Clifford Ervin Fetters, of Bend, was charged with multiple felonies, according to court documents filed in Deschutes County Circuit Court and obtained by Outdoor Life. He ultimately reached a plea deal with the county’s Deputy District Attorney, and the state dismissed all charges against Fetters on June 23.
The June 8 incident took place at Crane Prairie Reservoir, which the U.S. Forest Service calls “one of the top producing rainbow trout fisheries in Central Oregon.” Deputies with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the lake that Thursday after receiving a 911 call. The caller reported that Fetters, who was fishing from the bank, allegedly shot at him and two other boaters. He said that Fetters first yelled that they were too close the fishing line he had out. Fetters then allegedly grabbed a shotgun from his tent and fired it in their general direction.
When deputies arrived on the scene, they launched a drone to assess the situation, according to a police report acquired by Wired2Fish. As they flew the drone along the shore where Fetters was camped, he allegedly shot at their drone twice. Deputies then arrested Fetters.
Charges filed against Fetters on June 9 included 11 felony counts in total: three counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon; three counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person; three counts of Menacing; one count of Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree; one count of Attempted Criminal Mischief in the First Degree.
Court documents name Nicholas Lee Barker as the primary victim, along with Seth Robert Risseeuw, and Tyler Douglas Anthony (presumably the other boaters who were with Barker on the lake that day). The three men filed a restraining order against Fetters that went into effect on or before June 13—the same day that Fetters was released on $5,000 bail.
Public defense attorney Andrew Ince, Jr. with the Deschutes Defenders represented Fetters. They ultimately reached a plea deal with Deputy District Attorney Brooks McClain, which led to a dismissal of all charges on June 23. (Neither attorney responded to requests for comment on how the deal was reached.)
As part of that plea deal, Fetters cannot leave the state of Oregon without written permission from the court. He must also comply with the restraining order filed by the three victims, and his right to possess a firearm has been revoked. As an added condition, Fetters can no longer be within five miles of the campground at Crane Prairie Reservoir.