EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 6, 2013

Firefighter back to work following assault charges

Claims self-defense in struggle with daughter's boyfriend

By Shawn Regan

---- — HAVERHILL — City officials have decided against suspending a longtime firefighter who was arrested and charged last week with assaulting his adult daughter’s boyfriend with a metal tiki torch.

Mayor James Fiorentini said Keith W. Grant, 45, 5 Greenlawn Ave., Methuen, returned to his job Wednesday. It was his first scheduled work day since he was arrested at his home Nov. 27.

Grant has been charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and threatening to commit a crime, murder, after allegedly punching his daughter’s 33-year-old boyfriend multiple times, hitting him on the head with a metal tiki torch and threatening to kill him, according to a police report.

Fiorentini said he has asked fire Chief Richard Borden to investigate the incident, but that no disciplinary action will be taken against Grant until that investigation is concluded or the criminal charges against him are resolved. The mayor said there is no timetable for the fire chief’s investigation.

“The fire chief feels there’s no reason he (Grant) can’t work,” Fiorentini said.

Following his arrest, Grant voluntarily turned over 13 firearms and two crates of ammunition to Methuen police. A judge at Grant’s arraignment ordered police to hold them until the court case is resolved. Grant is licensed to possess the weapons, police said.

At his arraignment, Judge Michael Brooks ordered Grant released on personal recognizance and that he must stay away from the alleged victim. Grant is due back in court Jan. 29 for a pre-trial hearing.

The boyfriend reported the alleged assault at the Methuen police station, saying he was waiting in a van in Grant’s driveway when Grant attacked him. Grant’s daughter and her boyfriend have a baby together, and the couple was dropping off the child for the Grants to watch, according to police.

The man said Grant started punching him on the head, and when the man tried to escape, Grant picked up a metal tiki torch and hit him on the head several times as he ran to a neighbor’s porch. The man said Grant threatened to get a gun and shoot him, according to the police report.

Grant’s daughter told police her father is unhappy with her situation, and does not like her boyfriend because of his criminal record. According to court documents, the man has had convictions on charges including home invasion, armed burglary, armed robbery and drugs.

According to court documents, Grant turned over a Sig Sauer 556 rifle, an AR15 rifle, a Thompson .50 caliber rifle, a Marlin X7 30-06, two Remington 870 shotguns, a powder rifle, a Pardner SB1 rifle, a Remington Summit rifle, a New England Firearms shotgun, a Smith & Wesson .357 caliber handgun, a Smith & Wesson 662 handgun and a Smith & Wesson 380 handgun.

He also turned over a crate of rifle ammunition and a crate of miscellaneous ammunition that included 12 gauge shotgun shells, 30-30 shotgun shells, .357 caliber cartridges and .38 special cartridges.