After Anne Arundel County Sheriff Ronald Bateman was arrested earlier this month for violently assaulting his wife, Bateman’s wife Elsie Bateman has recanted statements she told police officers the night of her husband’s arrest and Ron Bateman has denied any wrongdoing.
Sheriff Bateman was charged with second-degree assault, a misdemeanor offense which has a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
Despite Elsie Bateman telling police officers a day after she made the 911 call that her husband, the county sheriff since 2006, had not actually hit her, it is up to the state of Maryland to prosecute Bateman if he is believed to be responsible for domestic violence. It is not up to Elsie Bateman to press charges.
Elsie Bateman was found by police on April 10 with a red left cheek and burst blood vessels in her left eye which correspond to the statement she told the 911 dispatcher. An audio recording of the 911 call has now been made public by the sheriff’s office, albeit with certain pieces redacted.
In the 911 call, Elsie Bateman told dispatchers, “The sheriff is drunk and he just punched me in the eye.”
The dispatcher asked Elsie Bateman, “Does anybody have any weapons [in the house]?”
She responded, “Well he’s the sheriff, he’s got guns everywhere, yeah.”
In the aftermath of this call, Bateman is still officially the county sheriff. While he is under investigation Col. Paul Tabor has taken over as acting sheriff. One of the sheriff department’s first steps was to remove all of the weapons in the Bateman home, as is police protocol in domestic-violence investigations.
The Capitol Gazette obtained text messages sent from Ron Bateman to Anne Arundel County Police Chief Timothy Altomare asking for his shotguns.
This came despite Bateman stating the day after his arrest that he would comply with police procedure as if he were an ordinary citizen.
“If one of our deputy sheriff’s was charged with second degree assault as the result of a domestic violence dispute, that deputy sheriff would be placed in an administrative status and his police powers would be suspended,” Bateman said in a statement. “I will not be treated any differently than I would treat one of my deputies.”
Police Chief Altomare said he did not reply to the texts and that he would not be returning any weapons until the case is resolved.
While Anne Arundel County officials have asked to resign, Sheriff Bateman made a statement last week that he has no plans to step down and will be running for re-election in 2018.
Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh has released a statement asking Sheriff Ron Bateman to resign. pic.twitter.com/jpTUU6Qe1W
— Meredith Newman (@MereNewman) April 20, 2016