FAIRFIELD — A local man with a history of violence and mental illness was arrested Monday night after assaulting an 84-year-old woman and her adult daughter in their home and then kicking a responding police officer in the face, police said.

It is the fourth time that Ronald Brousseau, 49, of Lawrence Avenue, Fairfield, has been arrested this year, highlighting the challenges police and mental health care workers face in attempting to stop certain people with mental illnesses from committing crimes and to provide them with treatment.

On Monday night, Brousseau barged into a woman’s home, pushed her, knocked her daughter down, kicked the daughter in the face and left the residence on foot, after which he attacked a police officer, according to acting Fairfield police Chief Joseph Massey, who is also the Waterville police chief.

District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said her offices in Kennebec and Somerset counties are seeking to revoke Brousseau’s bail on the previous charges, accumulated between January and March, in Somerset County Superior Court. A Somerset judge will hear the arguments about revoking his bail Wednesday.

“We are terribly concerned,” Maloney said.

Massey said his biggest worry is that one of the confrontations with Brousseau eventually might involve him possessing a weapon.


Helen Bailey, general counsel at the Disability Rights Center, an Augusta advocacy group, said she couldn’t comment on Brousseau’s case specifically. In general, though, a person in need of mental health services often receives them only after committing a crime, a situation Bailey said is “unfortunate, because it’s after the fact.”

Massey said police are able to take people into protective custody only when they are an immediate danger to themselves or someone else.

“You can’t just take these people and force them into treatment,” he said.

Bailey said Maine needs to do a better job of giving people more ways to get mental health services that don’t involve a crisis at the hospital emergency room or going to jail. She said she often receives calls from people who are upset because they’ve lost access to services and have no way to pay for them. In some cases, such people are re-admitted to the system only after a crisis.

Sometimes, she said, a person who is ordered to undergo mental health treatment by a court will stop as soon as he or she is legally able to do so.

In 1987, Brousseau, then 23, injured two police officers and caused $2,000 in damage to a police cruiser and windows at the Fairfield police station. Later that year, a judge found him not guilty by reason of insanity and committed him to the Augusta Mental Health Institute, but he was released later.


On Tuesday, Massey related the details of Monday’s arrest, based on police reports and witness statements.

Brousseau knocked on the door of the woman, who also lives on Lawrence Avenue, about 8:30 p.m. and asked for someone named Angie. When she told him she didn’t know anyone named Angie, he forced his way into the home and kept asking where Angie was.

“She told him, ‘There’s no Angie here, and you need to leave,’ but he was gesturing wildly with his hands, asking where Angie was and asked if she could hear him,” Massey said.

He said Brousseau grabbed the woman by the shoulders and pushed her, and then went farther into the house, confronting the woman’s 44-year-old daughter in her bedroom. When the daughter told him that no one named Angie lived in the house and he tried to go upstairs, a struggle began between the two. The daughter hit Brousseau with a walking stick, but Brousseau knocked her down and her foot became stuck in the stairs, Massey said, after which Brousseau kicked her in the face.

When Brousseau went upstairs, Massey said, he assaulted the homeowner’s 48-year-old son, after which Brousseau left the house on foot.

The family called the police while the daughter got into her car and followed Brousseau through the neighborhood. Massey said Officer Matt Wilcox responded and found the daughter and Brousseau on Osborne Street. Wilcox told Brousseau to stop walking, but Brousseau began running. When Wilcox got out of the car, Brousseau stopped, turned around, and charged from a distance of about 25 feet.


Wilcox shot Brousseau with a stun gun, but items in Brousseau’s pockets protected his skin from one of the darts. As Wilcox attempted to reload the stun gun for a second shot, Brousseau reached him. While trying to back away from Brousseau so that he could douse Brousseau in the face with pepper spray, Wilcox tripped and fell backward.

Brousseau kicked Wilcox in the face, then continued to kick his body.

The officer rolled away and got back on his feet, unleashing the pepper spray in Brousseau’s face as a second officer, Sgt. Paul St. Amand, arrived.

“You have to give good credit to Wilcox that he was able to keep his wits about him,” Massey said. The two were then able to grab and subdue Brousseau, who they said appeared to be under the influence of alcohol.

Both Wilcox and the daughter suffered injuries to their faces, Massey said.

Fairfield police charged Brousseau with two counts of aggravated assault, refusing to submit to arrest or detention, criminal trespass, violating condition of release and criminal mischief.


Massey said he sees a pattern in Brousseau’s criminal history, in which he doesn’t cause visible trouble for a long period, and then he requires repeated visits from police in a relatively short time span.

“He is someone that gives us great concern,” Massey said.

In January, police used a stun gun to subdue Brousseau outside the main entrance of Lawrence High School after he refused to leave school grounds, according to Fairfield police. Later that night, Waterville police said Brousseau assaulted two hospital employees while being evaluated at MaineGeneral Medical Center’s Thayer Campus. Police said they couldn’t charge Brousseau immediately because he remained in the hospital’s care, but he was charged with assault March 9.

In a separate incident, he also was arrested in March for criminal trespass at a Waterville law office.

The three recent assault charges against Brousseau are felonies, which carry a combined penalty of up to 25 years in prison and a $45,000 fine. The other four charges are misdemeanors, with a combined maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $6,000 fine.

Brousseau’s case has been scheduled for a court date of Aug. 14. He is being held at the Somerset County Jail in East Madison.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling — 861-9287
[email protected]

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