crimesider

James Willie Jones Stormed Fla. School Bus to Defend Disabled Daughter, Gets Arrested

Frame of security camera footage (WKMG)

ORLANDO (CBS/WKMG/AP) A Florida father who stormed onto a school bus and threatened children because his 13-year-old disabled daughter had been bullied is apologizing for the way he handled the situation.

James Willie Jones told The Associated Press on Monday he is sorry for his "inappropriate use of language" and for the way he handled the situation. But he says his daughter suffers from cerebral palsy and he could not stand by and watch her suffer.

He was charged last week with disorderly conduct and disturbing a school function for the Sept. 3 incident in Sanford, just north of Orlando. He later posted $2,000 bail and was ordered to stay away from the driver and county school buses.

In his rage, Jones threatened to harm both students and the bus driver in an expletive-laced tirade, as reported by CBS affiliate WKMG. In apologizing, he said "my actions were definitely appalling."

Nevertheless, there is evidence of understanding for the "dad who lost it."  Morgan Ryder, who lives in Vancouver, Wash., said she can relate to Jones, so she started a Facebook group to support him.

"My biggest fear is something happening to her (Jones' daughter). Kids can be cruel," Ryder told the station.

Ryder said the group had 50 friends on Friday, but it gained steam over the weekend and now has 1,300 supporters of Jones. Supporters have also been calling the district attorney's office, demanding that charges against Jones be dropped.

"This is something that happens all over the nation. We have children committing suicide because of bullying, and that's unacceptable. We need to put a stop to it," Ryder said. "I would go to the school and do the same thing Mr. Jones did. (I would do) anything to protect my child."

Jones plans to hold a news conference with his attorney Tuesday to answer questions about his arrested.