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Father doesn't want kids living with sheriff

Posted at 12:07 AM, Apr 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-15 06:17:12-04

On Friday the father of two children who live with the Anne Arundel County sheriff plans to file for increased custody of those children.

Sunday night, county police charged Sheriff Ron Bateman with assaulting his wife -- while one of her children was in their home.

Now that child's father says he's worried about what might happen next.

Bateman's wife, Elsie and her ex-husband share custody of their two children -- a 13-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl.

The boy was home when the incident happened Sunday night.

Elsie Bateman has now recanted her statement about being assaulted, but the investigation is still moving forward -- and the teens' father says he doesn't think they should have to be around while it does.
“I would like to see the kids out of what I see as a potentially volatile situation,” said their father, Chris Lyons, a correctional officer at the Washington, DC jail.

On Monday, Anne Arundel County Police held a news conference detailing what Elsie Bateman told investigators about the incident Sunday night:

“When they arrived on scene, they spoke with the victim who advised her husband, Anne Arundel County Sheriff Ron Bateman physically assaulted her,” said a spokeswoman for the department, Cpl. Jacklyn Davis

Investigators detailed Elsie Bateman's injuries and damage to the home, charged Sheriff Bateman with second-degree assault, then seized his credentials and his weapons.

Charging documents detail portions of that argument, in which police say Elsie Bateman called for help from her 13-year-old son, and he responded -- pulling the sheriff off of his mother, twice.

But on Tuesday, Sheriff Bateman held a news conference denying any wrong-doing:

“I never ever ever assaulted Elsie,” he said.  “Things were said to the police during high emotions, high stress and high anger that were just blown out of proportion and not true.”

Then on Wednesday, Elsie Bateman released a statement through her attorney -- in which she also said her husband did not assault her.

It read in part quote: “I do not believe anything that occurred between us is criminal, and was nothing more than a heated argument between a husband and a wife. I do not wish to pursue a criminal prosecution."

But in Maryland, victims never press charges -- the state does.  So the investigation will move forward:

“As a domestic violence incident, the onus is taken off the victim purposely. Because in many cases historically, through 100 different reasons, victims become hesitant,” said Chief Timothy Altomare of the Anne Arundel County Police Department.

Chris Lyons says he believes the original version of events..

“I know what my son told me. And to me that's more than enough. He was there in the middle of it,” he said.

Elsie Bateman maintains primary custody of the two children, but on Friday Lyons plans to go to court to try to change that.  “I'm going to file for an emergency hearing and see if I can't get them at least out of the house for a while to let the situation get a little more on track,” he said.

Thursday night Elsie Bateman's attorney, Tom Fleckinstein released a statement that reads:  “This incident has absolutely no bearing on the custody and visitation schedule of Mrs. Bateman's children, and she will fight any attempt made to modify it."

Sheriff Ron Bateman remains on administrative duties as the investigation continues.

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