By Rick Ritter

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The stepson of Anne Arundel County Sheriff Ron Bateman has been charged with threatening a public official, having allegedly told his sister he planned to kill Bateman and his family, the Capital Gazette reports.

Walter Paul Robinson Jr. was arrested Thursday.

According to the Gazette, Bateman filed a protective order petition saying that Robinson threatened to kill the family, then kill himself. Bateman also wrote that Robinson owned a shotgun.

Sheriff Bateman just announced his candidacy for re-election last week.

He told the Gazette in a statement that the arrest was opioid-related.

In the first six months of the year, Maryland has seen more than 1,000 people killed by overdose-related deaths. Nearly 800 of those are linked to fentanyl, a drug most don’t even know they’re taking because it’s usually mixed in with others drugs.

Police say Robinson Jr. threatened to kill Bateman and his family. Even pistol whip his wife and “chop her up into pieces.”

“It’s sad and it’s scary. It’s really disturbing how great the numbers are increasing year after year,” said Barbara Wahl of Concerted Care Group.

Bateman released a statement saying the arrest was due to opiate abuse and added “I am a regular stepfather who had to do what was necessary to protect my family. I hope one day he gets the help he needs.”

“Addiction is a disease that has no discrimination. there is no discrimination against socioeconomic status,” Erika Kane said. “Fentanyl is a game changer. There’s no doubt about it. It’s contributed to the record numbers we’re seeing.”

Last week, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced indictments against Chinese suppliers bringing the lethal drug into the U.S.

“It can’t happen any sooner. It can’t happen soon enough. Everyday someone is dying,” Wahl said. “We need to get these users the help they need.”

If you or someone you know needs help, you can contact Concerted Care Group.

As of Tuesday, there was 287 homicides in Baltimore City for all of 2017; there was 286 fentanyl deaths in the City in just the first six months of the year.

Last year, another dispute within the Bateman family was handled by police. In April 2016, Elsie Bateman filed domestic violence charges against her husband, claiming he hit her and threw her into a wall.

The sheriff always denied hurting his wife, and she later recanted her story. He was acquitted a few months later.

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