As I wrote overnight, Anne Arundel County Sheriff Ron Bateman was arrested last night and charged with second degree assault over what was reported then as a “domestic issue.”
I later noted that court records indicated that he had been charged with second degree assault, which is a misdemeanor.
Bateman just became a Republican in 2015. He has been Sheriff since 2006.
Earlier today, Eye on Annapolis and other sources reported on the statement put out by the Anne Arundel County Police Department:
On Sunday, April 10, 2016 just before 7:30 p.m. officers from Eastern District responded to an address on Pasadena Yacht Yard Road for a domestic violence call. The victim advised her husband Mr. Ronald Bateman assaulted her in their residence. Upon arrival officers noticed injuries to the victim and damage to the residence. Mr. Bateman was subsequently arrested and charged with second degree assault. It should be noted that the suspect is the Sheriff of Anne Arundel County, his weapons and credentials have been taken for safe-keeping per protocol. The Under-Sheriff Rick Tabor has been notified. The victim advised officers she would seek medical treatment on her own.
This is still a very active investigation; any additional information will follow if it becomes available.
Arrested: Ronald Bateman, 54 years-of-age, Pasadena, Second-Degree Assault
Arundel News Network has more information from the arrest documents:
According to the statement of probable cause, the fight erupted when Mrs. Bateman returned from dinner.
“Ms. Bateman said Mr. Bateman told her to get out of the house. …she was going to leave the house, but did not have any money. Ms. Bateman grabbed Mr. Bateman’s money clip because it had cash.”
As the argument escalated, Mrs. Bateman called to her 14 year old for help:
“he came into the master bedroom and saw Mr. Bateman holding his mother down on the bed. “
The boy was able to pull Bateman off his mother according to the report, but the fight spilled over to the hallway.
“Ms. Bateman said Mr. Bateman grabbed her again and she slapped him in the face…….Ms. Bateman said Mr. Bateman threw her into a wall in the craft room where she hit the back of her head.”
When officers arrived on scene they noticed damage inside of the home and small injuries on Mrs. Bateman. She declined medical treatment on scene.
Sheriff Bateman admitted to officers that he and his wife had argued and that he had been drinking. He denied striking his wife but said he did hold her down to take his money clip back from her.
County State’s Attorney Wes Adams has recused himself from the case and turned it over to Steve Kroll, Director of the Maryland State’s Attorney’s Association, who will prosecute the case against Bateman.
Bateman issued the following press release today, apparently using county resources:
I have some concerns about the “administrative duty” line coming from an elected department head. When you suspend a beat cop and put him on administrative duty, it’s a significant change. In this case it just sounds like Sheriff Ron Bateman will be doing his job as if nothing happened, he just won’t be carrying a firearm. When was the last time an elected sheriff fired his service weapon in the line of duty anyway?
As far as privacy concerns go, Bateman is a little late. The calf is already out of the barn. First, his wife made the social media postings. Second, he is an elected official so it’s going to be a matter of public reporting and discussion when police are called to his residence, especially when they find probable cause to arrest him for assaulting his wife.
Sheriff Ron Bateman’s Marital Issues Aired on Social Media
One thing I also noticed last night, which Eye on Annapolis saw and published too, was this post made Saturday morning on Facebook by his wife, Elsie Bateman:
The status update was made at 10:32 a.m. Saturday from Pasadena by Mrs. Bateman.
Immediately after that post, she made one indicating that a beach house belonging to the couple was for sale. The comments on this original post had gotten up around 25 before she deleted it, with some indicating disbelief.
One comment she made herself as a reply was that she had to be out by “tomorrow.”
Note that the above post was made with public permissions so anyone on the internet could see it. I saw it last night early on after the arrest news started getting out, and I found no reason to use it at that point since she was just known as a possible victim of alleged domestic assault at that point.
Others used that post last night and this morning on their stories on this situation before it disappeared.
It has since been deleted (the beach house sale one remained), and this one added:
I find it amazing to someone who made the first post airing her family’s dirty laundry on a public Facebook page is now getting so indignant in the second post. If you didn’t want people commenting about it, maybe you should’ve kept it to yourself.
Apparently, there are more than two people involved – since her 14 year old son reportedly saw his stepfather , Sheriff Ron Bateman, holding her down on the bed as the situation unfolded.
The Case Against Sheriff Ron Bateman
I talked to numerous lawyers today about the situation.
It is typical for victims of domestic violence to recant their allegations and refuse to testify in court. Usually, this won’t stop prosecutors or police moving forward with a case (that wasn’t always the case.) Will it be handled any differently since the accused assailant is an elected Sheriff?
State’s Attorney Adams has done what he had to do and recused himself. Sheriff Bateman is denying an assault happened and trying to go about his job as if nothing happened. Just a reminder – he is innocent until proven guilty.
As the case moves forward, it will be interesting to see what unfolds. If Mrs. Bateman refuses to testify against her husband, then it will depend on what her son says. Will he be pressured not to testify as well?
Based on all the police reports, something happened. Will it be reduced to a he said-she said event and accidents or clumsiness blamed for Elsie Bateman’s injuries or will the allegations be proven?
If there’s no corroborating evidence, it will be tough – but not impossible – for the state to get a conviction.
If he is convicted of domestic violence, he won’t be able to own (or carry) a firearm under federal law. It’s not apparent whether that would prevent him from continuing to serve as Sheriff.
Even if he’s not found guilty, Sheriff Ron Bateman’s job situation will ultimately decided by voters in 2018.
No matter what happens, it’s a sad situation for everyone involved. Unfortunately, despite the Batemans’ exhortations for privacy, they’ve made it a sad situation for everyone in Anne Arundel County due to him being an elected official and her airing their dirty laundry on Facebook.
Keep them and Anne Arundel County in your prayers.
Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.
Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.