The founder of a substance abuse treatment home for women entered Lowell High School on Monday, found a woman in a classroom, tried to attack her, and said he was going to rape her, authorities allege.
The bizarre incident was among several that afternoon allegedly involving 55-year-old Timothy Grover, of Dracut, who police say assaulted two other people as he wandered the school’s halls and later fought with the officers who took him into custody.
Grover was arraigned Tuesday in Lowell District Court on a slew of charges, including assault with intent to rape.
Known locally as the founder of The Megan House Foundation, a nonprofit drug recovery center, in honor of his late daughter, Grover is also the owner of the Lowell-based Madison Security Group, located across the street from the school.
He faces additional charges of assault and battery on a police officer; resisting arrest; assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, to wit: shod foot; and two counts of assault and battery, officials said.
He pleaded not guilty and was held pending a dangerousness hearing, WBZ-TV reports.
“He’s going to fight these charges, and he denies them in their entirety,” Daniel Thompson, Grover’s attorney, told reporters.
The incident came one day before students were slated to return Lowell High School, which began the new school year Tuesday.
On Monday, only teachers and several members of a student club were on campus when Grover entered the building, according to court records.
— Josh Brogadir (@JoshBrogadirTV) August 27, 2019
What authorities say happened
Authorities said a young woman flagged down a Lowell police officer outside the department’s headquarters on Arcand Drive around 4 p.m.
She told him an older man, wearing a suit jacket, had just attempted to attack her and said he was going to rape her inside the school, according to police reports on file in court.
The woman said she was inside a classroom helping to prepare for the first day of classes when the man — later identified as Grover — entered, an officer wrote in a report. He appeared to be intoxicated, she said.
Grover told her to call the police, and, when she asked why, he allegedly said, “Because someone is gonna rape you,” the file says.
And when she asked who, he responded: “I am,” according to the police report.
Despite Grover’s attempt to block her, the woman ran out of the room and drove to the police station, the filing says.
Authorities allege that Grover also assaulted a male student and another woman as he walked around the school, according to court filings.
Surveillance video footage shows Grove entered the building around 3:28 p.m through a side entrance on Kirk Street that had been propped open by workers, a police report says.
Just before 4 p.m., officers were called to the school for a report of an unwanted man in the auditorium, court documents indicate.
There, they were told by school officials and victims that Grover allegedly approached students who were participating in a club.
Grover allegedly told a male student he knew him. The student said he did not.
“The suspect grabbed (the student’s) shirt by his neck and stated, ‘You have a gun on you!'” the reports says.
Although the student did not have firearm, Grover insisted he did and followed him into the hallway as he fled the theater, police wrote.
“The suspect caught up to (the student) and grabbed his shirt and swung at him in a closed fist,” the report says. “(The student) stated the punch missed and that he swung the suspect around … and punched the suspect in self defense.”
A custodian then held Grover to the floor before removing him from the building, authorities wrote.
Another woman, a teacher who was with the students in the club, told officers she directed the group to leave the theater when the confrontation between Grover and the male student began.
“As the children were walking away from the auditorium, the suspect attempted to follow students,” the police report says. “(The teacher) stated that she got in between the male and the students in an attempt to stop him or slow him down and the male grabbed her shoulders from behind and pushed her out of the way.”
No injuries were reported from the three victims, Lowell police Capt. James Hodgdon told Boston.com Tuesday. The incident is considered random, and Grover does not have a connection to any of the three people, officials said.
Grover was found by National Park Rangers near the intersection of Kirk and Paige streets after police broadcast his description.
“Mr. Grover was yelling profanities and threatening the officers,” police said in the statement. “Grover kicked an officer and attempted to bite the officer.”
Here’s some of the images from the incident by the Lowell HS a little while ago. Sounds like the man in the jacket is facing at least one charge of assault and battery. I’m working on getting the details. pic.twitter.com/BhzFoYuOZE
— Aaron Curtis (@aselahcurtis) August 26, 2019
Court files describe Grover as “belligerent” throughout the booking process.
Authorities said he shouted profanities at officers and statements such as, “I am going to shoot you,” “I am going to kill you,” and “I can’t wait to kill you.”
Grover told police he had “a couple of drinks at lunch” and remembered going into the school, but said he could not recall what happened inside, according to a report.
Grover ‘has not been involved with any aspect’ of the Lowell charity he founded in over a year and a half
Grover opened Megan’s House, a residential substance abuse treatment program, in Lowell in 2015 to honor his daughter, Megan, who died in late 2014 from a heroin overdose at the age of 26.
In a statement Tuesday, the organization said Grover “separated completely from The Megan House more than 18 months ago and has not been involved with any aspect of its operations since that time”:
“The Megan House Foundation recently learned of the arrest of its founder on serious criminal charges.
“Mr. Grover separated completely from The Megan House more than 18 months ago and has not been involved with any aspect of its operations since that time.
“There is nothing more important to the staff, leadership and board of The Megan House than creating a safe and supportive environment for the young women we serve. Should any past resident, employee or contractor associated with The Megan House have any concerns, we ask that these concerns be reported immediately to the police.”
Grover is also the owner of Madison Security Group on Kirk Street, The Lowell Sun reports.
A man who answered the phone at the company’s office Tuesday morning said, “No comment,” and hung up after a reporter introduced himself.
School safety is ‘a top priority,’ officials say
Latifah Phillips, chief equity and engagement officer for Lowell Public Schools, said in a statement Monday the school district is cooperating with authorities and reminded staff members about the district’s safety protocols:
“Lowell Public Schools is cooperating with local authorities as they investigate the unfortunate incident that took place at Lowell High School after school hours today.
“The police immediately responded after receiving notification that a person had entered the school building and began an investigation.
“Following the incident, school leadership notified staff of the occurrence and took the opportunity to re-emphasize safety protocols for maintaining a secure environment.
“Lowell Public Schools will continue to make school safety a top priority and looks forward to welcoming students back to school tomorrow for a successful new school year.”
Grover is due back in court on Friday.