Man with bipolar disorder guilty in deputy assault

Public defender says suspect would have spent more time in a psychiatric hospital than he would behind bars if he opted for insanity plea.
Cary Ashby
Oct 15, 2012


Assault defendant Ronald T. Babione took a minute or two to tell the judge he understood the felony to which he was pleading guilty.

"Yes, I recognize the case. I don't remember the actual details," he said at Monday's hearing.

Babione, 23, of 4248 Ohio 103, Willard, also told Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway he was the person who committed the unprovoked assault on Huron County Sheriff's Deputy Steve Mancuso. Babione has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

The July 17 incident happened in the Huron County Jail when Mancuso was making his rounds as a corrections officer, helping deliver clean uniforms to inmates.

Babione became agitated when he thought Mancuso was staring at him, Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff told the court. Babione and Mancuso were about 25 feet away from each other.

The defendant suddenly turned, charged at Mancuso and hit the officer with a closed fist, Lt. Chris Stanfield said soon after the incident.

"He went at him (Mancuso) swinging," Stanfield said. "There was no argument. There was no conversation."

It took several corrections officers to restrain Babione, Woodruff said. The defendant later said he didn't have any reason to doubt the facts the prosecutor presented to the court.

Mancuso was treated for facial injuries in the Fisher-Titus Medical Center emergency room and released.

Babione's attorney, Huron County Public Defender David Longo, had warned the court his client might have problems remembering the facts of the case due to his "psychiatric issues."

Babione pleaded guilty Monday to one count of assault on a corrections officer. In a plea deal, prosecutors agreed to dismiss a second assault charge in which Stanfield was the reported victim. That incident also happened in jail, but after the one involving Mancuso.

Longo said although his client is taking medications for being bipolar, he said figuring out the proper dosages and meds "is a work in progress."

The public defender expressed concern that if Babione had pleaded "not guilty by reason of insanity," Babione eventually would have spent more time in a psychiatric hospital than he would behind bars.

"Mr. Babione has psychiatric issues. ... He takes medication (for them)," said Longo, who told Conway he could have argued for a plea of "not guilty by reason of insanity" in this case.

Assault, a fifth-degree felony, carries a penalty of between six to 12 months behind bars. Woodruff, as part of Monday's plea deal, said he wouldn't recommend a prison term, but would request "some form of community control sanctions" at the time of sentencing.

As Conway asks all defendants during a plea or sentencing hearing, he asked Babione if he had taken any medication Monday that might impair his ability to think clearly. The defendant said he had not taken his meds that day.

"I am clear when I'm off them," said Babione, who often stuttered and repeated himself.

At the time of the Mancuso assault, Babione was serving a 180-day sentence for resisting arrest and aggravated menacing.

The convictions were for an April 10 incident at his mother's New Haven Township home. The woman, who feared for her life, reported her son damaged her bedroom door and the contents of the room.

Upon arrival, two deputies found Babione in an upstairs bedroom.

"He confronted (the) deputies with a knife and baseball bat. He threatened the officers, then dropped the weapons and rushed them," Sheriff Dane Howard said shortly after the incident.

Babione was subdued with a Taser and arrested without further incident.



He might be bi, but not polar. Weak vain excuse ronnie boy. Its your attitude - nothing more.

David Deerest.

All this time I thought Bi-Polar was a big white bear that goes both ways.


OHHH so claim insanity when convenient, but change plea when it is not??? I get it???????? and people wonder why some like me, don't really buy sad stories anymore.


"Bi polar" is an overused's starting to not wash.


The 3rd grade "BI" jokes are awesome!!! Thanks


I'm on Ronnie's side...


This kid is a total mess....been in and out of trouble for awhile now.


I have known Ronnie since grade school. He has always had trouble controling his anger. If he doesn't want to keep going to jail for the rest of his life, he may need to get his anger under control. He needs somebody to be there for him, and I wish that I could be.


I have an idea... to help him "control" his anger.. but it would have to involve a deserted place and no witnesses. Always notice people who have anger issues always seem to display it where there is a large crowd, quick to get broke-up or some sort of "cool dude" reputation can be achieved? all in the name of "he's a CRAZY dude" "stay away from him".. But a last man standing walks away scenario, is never the case. Bi-polar my @ss


Bi-Polar isn't something that you just through around. It's a serious condition, diagnosed by a doctor, and through therapy and medication can be controled. In a split second somebody's emotions from cool and collective, to extremly angry at everyone in the room over nothing. Two of my family members have it. He may come off with an "attitude" but everybody has their own way with dealing with emotions that they can't control. And besides that anger can be kept inside a person and just let loose at a moments notice. Did you know that Ronnie lost his father a few years back? That cause a lot of problems for him, he must have been devastated. So people like you need to keep your comments away from judgemental thoughts, and try to be a little bit more understanding, especially if you don't know the full story.

Brock Lee

if he that dangerus he needs in hospital for help

Cliff Cannon

@ justsayin01 : I have known as well as liked Ronnie since the Babione's adopted him. (Which makes him about 4 years old then ) As you well know the Babione's are amazingly wonderful people,aren't they? As well as they are/were "somebody to be there for him"

There obviously,comes a point in everybodys life when they know they done right and they know they done wrong. Ronnie, in my opinion has 2 choices: Get it together. Or spend his life behind bars. Because,he knows he doing wrong now,doesn't he?

Here's hoping Ronnie takes advantage of the great teaching, as well as opportunity's Willie and Sue gave him.Because,despite Willie's way to early death, life's education don't get any better than they gave him. Ronnie if you don't, "bi-polar" or whatever reason/excuse you want to use for screwing up----- it is ALL on you my young,yet old friend.

P.S. Ronnie if you read this; Here's hoping that really fun,cool kid that used to play at our home comes back


@Cliff.....the Babione's are good people. Like you said, there comes a point where they have done all that they can do.


This guy is my hero. Keep giving them the blank looks, and sucker punch them when you get the opportunity. You're too far gone at this point anyhow.


Cliff - I was there, too, before and when he lost his dad. His mom, and a lot of guys willing to be surrogate dads offered and tried to help. Eventually he had to grow up, and has to learn how to deal with life's adversities. Getting help is part of it, but owning up and taking reponsibility are too. I'm rooting for him, too.


This is seriously one of the saddest things ever. I remember riding bikes during the summer with him when we were kids and building snow forts at my grandma and grandpa's house together. When my grandpa passed, Ronnie was the only person that actually tried to make the situation better than what it was. I really wish people would stop judging him and writing bad things about him. He needs someone to talk to, NOT someone to talk about him. All the media is doing is portraying him to be a bad person, when in complete reality, he is nothing but misguided. Ronnie, I hope you read this, and if you do, just know that if I was in Ohio still, I would help you and not hurt you like all of these ignorant fools.


Well said!


He destroyed the inside of an office I rent out to a counseling service a year ago. Broke the enterance door, busted several windows and destroyed the furniture and all the walls inside the waiting room. Yeah, class act individual this kid is.


Yes I agree with you, that is a horrible thing to do. Most people whould never ever do such a thing. But what caused him to do it?

In my opinion, he really needs someone in his life to help him through what he has been through. Sending him to jail over and over again isn't going to work. The source of the problem needs fixed. He really should figure out how to keep his emotions under control. Maybe somebody needs to step up and be in his life as a positive influence, to help him understand that life can be much more rewarding if the right steps are taken...