January 10, 2013

Man subdued, arrested after refusing to leave Lawrence High School in Fairfield

Ronald Brousseau, 48, was 'very confrontational and noncooperative,' police say; Taser used to apprehend unarmed suspect

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

FAIRFIELD -- A 48-year old man was arrested at Lawrence High School Wednesday morning after teachers confronted him in the hallway and he refused to leave.

An officer used a Taser to subdue Ronald Brousseau, who was unarmed, outside the school when he refused to submit to arrest.

Brousseau made bail and was taken to an area hospital by police, according to police Sgt. Matt Bard. He was listed in fair condition after being evaluated at MaineGeneral Medical Center's Thayer campus, according to hospital spokeswoman Diane Peterson.

Bard said police don't know why Brousseau, who was "very confrontational and noncooperative" was at the school in the first place.

"We've still established no ties as to why he was there," Bard said. "He wouldn't give his name, wouldn't say why he was there. The nearest we can figure is that he was trying to locate someone, but we don't know who or for what reason."

Bard said that Brousseau's last known address is in Fairfield, but that it is from 1996.

Dean Baker, superintendent of the School Administrative District 49, which includes Fairfield, said school staff reacted appropriately by confronting Brousseau in the high school's hallway while classes were in session and asking him his business at the school. Albion, Benton and Clinton students also attend district schools.

The school staff asked Brousseau to leave but he initially refused, Baker said. He said that staff contacted the police, who arrived just as Brousseau was leaving the building.

According to Bard, Officer Shana Blodgett, who responded to the call at 8:42 a.m., asked Brousseau to leave the school grounds, but he refused. When she attempted to take him into custody, Bard said, Brousseau resisted arrest.

Blodgett used the Taser to "dry stun" Brousseau, Bard said, which means that an electrical volt is delivered but the darts are not deployed from the weapon.

Bard said that Brousseau was not carrying a gun.

"He was not armed in any way, shape or form," he said. "But it makes everybody nervous."

Baker said that, despite rumors to the contrary, there was no school lockdown. A school lockdown involves a specific set of actions and is initiated by administrators based on their assessment of the situation, he said.

While police dealt with Brousseau outside of the building, students were held in their classrooms for a few extra minutes, Baker said. As soon as Brousseau was arrested, the school resumed its normal schedule.

Baker commended both the staff and the police for their quick response to the situation.

"This is a time when people have the jitters about anyone at the schools," he said.

Bard said that Brousseau has been charged with criminal trespass and refusing to submit to arrest. He will appear in Skowhegan District Court on Feb. 20.

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

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