For the family of the armed Woodstock man found Wednesday outside the Cherokee Charter Academy, the 31-year-old’s arrest was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Jon Grigg, brother of Todd Kristopher Grigg, said Thursday that he understands tensions are running high because of the school shooting in DeKalb County earlier this week, but his brother has poor judgment skills because he has a brain tumor and did not have any bad intentions when Cherokee County Sheriff’s deputies found him armed outside the school in Canton.
“He made a simple mistake of carrying something you shouldn’t on the property,” Jon Grigg said. “Yes, he should be dealt with accordingly, but all the blowing it up as ‘he’s another school attacker’ was completely wrong.”
Jon Grigg said he dropped his brother off at the school on Sixes Road on Wednesday morning while he was there taking his son to school at about 7 a.m. He said their mother was going to pick Todd up and take him to Atlanta for an MRI of his brain tumor, which he was diagnosed with three years ago.
But while crossing the parking lot to meet their mother, Todd Grigg ran into the deputies. He was then arrested after allegedly fleeing from the deputies who were attempting to question him.
When arrested, authorities found that the man dressed in black leather and denim had three knives, a set of black leather gloves and a BB gun resembling a semi-automatic handgun.
“I know he looks like a bad boy with his leather jacket and his long hair, but that’s just judging the book by the cover,” Jon Grigg said of his brother.
Jon Grigg added that his brother carries these weapons because he feels that he needs them for protection, but said he has warned Todd Grigg against keeping them on his person.
“He kind of lives by the seat of his pants and he’s kind of a wild child,” said Jon Grigg. “But that doesn’t make him violent. He wasn’t out there to hurt any kids.”
Jon Grigg said the deputies were calling out for his brother to stop so they could talk to him, but he just kept walking, not knowing they were yelling at him.
“They just felt like he was ignoring them,” Jon Grigg said. “But his mind doesn’t work like me and you. He was hearing his mother, ‘Over here, over here, Todd.’”
Lt. Jay Baker, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, however, said Wednesday that Grigg told investigators “he ran from the deputies because he knew he was in a school zone and was armed.”
But whether or not the man misunderstood the situation or lacks judgment because of a brain tumor, Lt. Col. Ron Hunton, field operations commander for the Sheriff’s Office, said isn’t the point.
“The facts are that he was on school property with weapons,” Hunton said Thursday. “I’m certainly not qualified, nor would I ever attempt to talk about his brain tumor. But again, the facts are the facts.”
Jon Grigg said since his brother’s arrest Wednesday morning, investigators have been to both his house and their mother’s home, looking for evidence.
Hunton declined to comment on what was found, but said no matter what evidence was taken in, again, “doesn’t change the facts of the case.”
Baker said Wednesday that Grigg was charged with four counts of possession of a weapon on school grounds, carrying a concealed knife and obstruction of an officer.
So far, Jon Grigg said he hasn’t been able to speak with his brother, who remains in custody at the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center without bond.
He is, however, concerned for his safety, especially if other inmates believe he had set out Wednesday morning to hurt children at the school.
“I just really want people to see that he was not attacking the school,” he said. “We have to take things in context. We shouldn’t just assume that’s why he was there.”
Todd Grigg does have an extensive criminal record, with at least 13 arrests in the last 13 years, court records show, but his brother said he is harmless.
“This isn’t the first time Todd’s been in trouble, I’m not going to lie,” Jon Grigg said. “But he’s never been violent. He stays with my family. He’s never been an issue.”