Naperville businessman pleads not guilty to aggravated assault
A longtime Naperville businessman has pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated assault with a motor vehicle and disorderly conduct.
Richard Wehrli, 84, of the 1100 block of Edgewater Drive, also was threatened with being held in contempt Thursday morning by Judge John Kinsella after Wehrli cursed at the bench and repeatedly spoke over the judge during his arraignment.
The charges against Wehrli stem from an Aug. 17 altercation on the 500 block of Frontenac Road in Naperville.
Police said Wehrli got into a heated dispute with a construction worker shortly after 4 p.m. regarding the quality of work being done near a property Wehrli owns.
"Wehrli allegedly got into his vehicle, a 2018 Ford SUV, and drove it straight at the victim, stopping right in front of him," Deputy Police Chief Jason Arres said when the charges were filed on Sept. 11. "The victim thought he was going to be hit by his vehicle."
Arres said Wehrli gave a conflicting account of the altercation, leading the victim to swear to the allegations in front of a DuPage County judge and a warrant being issued for his arrest. Wehrli ultimately turned himself in to Naperville police on Sept. 17, according to court files. He has since been free on $25,000 bail.
Wehrli, a 1956 graduate of North Central College, was named a Life Trustee in 2005 and was a special inductee into the college's Hall of Fame in 2006 for both his athletic achievements and his philanthropy. which included donations of time and concrete to improve several athletic facilities at the college. The college's Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium bears his name.
His next court date is scheduled for Nov. 26.