January 11, 2013

Man accused of Lawrence High School intrusion has history of violence, mental illness

In 1987, Ronald Brousseau, then 23, injured two police officers, damaged a police cruiser and broke windows at Fairfield police headquarters before being subdued and forcibly restrained

By Matt Hongoltz-Hetling mhhetling@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

and Doug Harlow dharlow@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

FAIRFIELD -- The 48-year-old man charged with assaulting two hospital employees on the same day that police subdued him with a stun gun at Lawrence High School has a history of violence and mental illness.

click image to enlarge

Ronald Brousseau was 23 in 1987 when he was subdued and restrained by Fairfield police after he injured two officers, damaged a police cruiser and broke several windows in the police headquarters.

Staff file photo by David Leaming

click image to enlarge

Ronald Brousseau was 23 in 1987 when he injured two officers, damaged a police cruiser and broke several windows at the Fairfield police headquarters.

Staff file photo by David Leaming

In 1987, Ronald Brousseau, then 23, injured two police officers, damaged a police cruiser and broke windows at Fairfield police headquarters before being subdued and forcibly restrained.

The rampage resulted in $2,000 in damages to the building and the cruiser.

Brousseau was charged with two counts of class B aggravated assault and a single count of aggravated criminal mischief, according to District Court records. The charges were transferred to Superior Court, where he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

He waived his right to a jury trial and after a competency hearing in December 1987, Justice Morton A. Brody found Brousseau not guilty by reason of insanity or mental disease or defect, according to records on file at Somerset County Superior Court. Brody committed him to the Augusta Mental Health Institute, the state's mental hospital at the time.

An order by Justice Margaret Kravchuk releasing Brousseau from AMHI was filed at Superior Court in November 1992.

Fairfield police have had no significant contact with Brousseau since then, until Wednesday.

Fairfield Police Sgt. Matt Bard said that the last address police had for Brousseau was at least 17 years old. Neighbors near his Lawrence Avenue home, about a half-mile from the high school, said they did not know Brousseau.

On Wednesday morning, the staff at Lawrence High School called police after Brousseau, who was not armed, was found wandering the halls and refused initial requests to leave the school. Brousseau, who had no apparent business at the school, was confronted by police as he left the building, but he refused to leave school grounds.

The school's 700 students and 58 employees were kept in their classrooms for a few extra minutes while Fairfield police confronted Brousseau outside the building's main entrance. Bard said Officer Shanna Blodgett used a stun gun to subdue Brousseau after he resisted arrest.

Brousseau was taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center's Thayer campus in Waterville for evaluation, where he allegedly assaulted two hospital workers, one of whom reported that the assault caused a bump on her head, according to Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey of the Waterville Police Department.

On Thursday, Waterville police took involuntary psychiatric commitment paperwork to the hospital, but Rumsey would not say if the forms involved Brousseau.

Rumsey said police often transport such paperwork as a courtesy to area hospitals, regardless of whether their subjects have been involved in criminal matters.

Rumsey said police are waiting for Brousseau, who remains in the care of the hospital, to be released before they charge him with two counts of assault. Brousseau has also been charged with criminal trespass and resisting arrest for the incident at the school. He posted bail on those charges while at the hospital and is scheduled to appear in Skowhegan District Court on Feb. 20.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling -- 861-9287
mhhetling@centralmaine.com

Doug Harlow -- 612-2367
dharlow@centralmaine.com

 

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