A former standout Steuben County girls basketball player is now in Steuben County Jail after being arrested as a fugitive from justice and that's only the beginning of her troubles.
35 year old Billie Jo Ribble played basketball at Campbell-Savona before doing the same while attending Alfred University in the late 1990's. Now, she's accused of assaulting a corrections officer, escaping from a hospital, kidnapping a woman and her baby at knife point and barricading herself in the attic of a Corning apartment before being taken into custody.
Ribble was arrested Friday in the Keystone State after Steuben County Sheriff's Deputies were tipped off that she was meeting an acquaintance at a Wal-Mart store. She had been wanted for several months for her alleged role in the theft of 15 guns and 12-THOUSAND dollars worth of property in Steuben County. After being placed in jail Friday to await extradition, Ribble complained of stomach pain due to her pregnancy and was taken to the hospital. That's where she allegedly assaulted the corrections officer guarding her, before jumping out a three story window. She landed on a second story roof and used a catwalk to reach the ground.
Early Saturday morning, Ribble allegedly broke into a home near the hospital and took a 19 year old woman and her six month old baby hostage. While holding the baby at knife point, Ribble demanded the woman drive her back to New York, which she did. After being dropped off, Ribble took the battery from the woman's cell phone so she'd be unable to call for help. The 19 year old alerted Pennsylvania State Police of the incident when she arrived back.
Ribble was tracked down to a Corning home and threatened to do harm to herself and her unborn baby if police did not leave. After an almost hour long discussion with police, Ribble surrendered. She was arraigned on her original charges that morning. She'll face additional charges once all agencies involved in the weekend's incident finish their investigations.
Read the official news release:
United States Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr.
Western District of New York
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 6, 2013
STEUBEN COUNTY WOMAN CHARGED WITH KIDNAPING
WOMAN AND HER 6 MONTH-OLD DAUGHTER
ROCHESTER, N.Y.--U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Billie Jo Ribble, 35, of Bath, N.Y., was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with kidnaping a mother and her six-month old child. The charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett A. Harvey, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, the defendant abducted a mother and her six month-old child in Pennsylvania on March 1, 2013. At that time, Ribble was wanted by the Steuben County Sheriff's Office on charges of burglary and grand larceny, in relation to a residential burglary that occurred in October 2012. On March 1, investigators from the Steuben County Sheriff's Office and Pennsylvania State Police located and arrested Ribble in Mansfield, Pennsylvania. After being remanded to the Tioga County Jail in Pennsylvania, Ribble, who is pregnant, was taken to the hospital in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, for treatment in the maternity ward. While there, the defendant became violent, assaulted a Tioga County Corrections Officer who was assigned to guard her, and escaped the hospital by climbing out a window.
Later on March 1, a woman and her six month-old daughter were asleep in the basement bedroom of a residence in Wellsboro. At 11:30 p.m., the woman was awakened by Ribble, who was standing over her daughter's crib holding a large butcher's knife. The defendant picked up the child, while still holding the knife, and threatened to kill the woman, her child, and herself, if the woman did not take Ribble where she wanted to go. Thereafter, the woman got into the driver's seat of her car and Ribble got into the front passenger seat, still holding the woman's daughter and the butcher's knife. At the direction of Ribble, the woman drove from Pennsylvania to an exit off Route 15 in Lindley, New York, where the defendant was dropped off. The woman then drove to a gas station in Pennsylvania and called police. After urgent investigation by the Steuben County Sheriff's Office and the New York State Police, the defendant was located at her boyfriend's residence in Corning, New York. Ribble initially barricaded herself in the attic, but eventually surrendered to authorities without incident.
The complaint is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Christopher M. Piehota, the Steuben County Sheriff's Office, under the direction of Sheriff David Cole, the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Mark Koss, the Pennsylvania State Police, under the direction of Commanding Officer, Captain David J. Young, and the Wellsboro (Pennsylvania) Police Department, under the direction of Chief Jim Bodine.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.