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Cambridge School Principal Chris Grote Allegedly Stalked Ex-Girlfriend

Clockwise from top, Grote's Facebook profile photo, his mugshot, and a picture from his school district.

Clockwise from top, Grote's Facebook profile photo, his mugshot, and a picture from his school district.

If you think working your way up the ladder to become a public school principal reflects strength of character, consider the allegations facing Chris Grote.

Grote, the 47-year-old principal at Cambridge Primary School, faces a host of misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor charges for allegedly stalking his ex-girlfriend outside her home in rural Isanti County for the second time in just over two months early Sunday morning.

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According to the charges, Grote ran into his ex, identified in the complaint as "TAA," at a firefighter's benefit in Cambridge Saturday evening. Visibly intoxicated, he approached her and began talking. TAA, concerned he might drive drunk, asked him how he planned to get home, and he responded by telling her he planned to drive to her house.

"No you aren't," she told him, repeatedly making it clear he wasn't welcome, the charges say.

After the benefit, TAA had just returned to her house with a female friend when her cell phone rang. It was Grote. She rejected the call, but he called again. Rejected a second time, Grote then tried her home phone, before again calling her cell. Finally, TAA answered.

"Chris, please stop calling," she said, according to the charges.

"I'm here, please come talk," he replied.

TAA's friend could hear a voice in the yard as that phone conversation was happening, so the women closed the blinds and called police.

A deputy arrived, heard someone crashing through the woods off the back deck of the house, and gave chase. About 40 yards deep in the woods, he came across Grote lying down on his stomach. Grote, face bloodied by branches, initially refused to put his hands behind his back, but complied after he was threatened with a taser, the complaint says.

Grote's ex later told cops the two had dated, but hadn't been seeing each each other for several months. She said the latest incident was almost identical with one that took place on July 22 when she was home alone with her kids. In that case, she called police to have Grote removed from her property, and the same deputy who responded to her home on Sunday morning came out and took Grote away.

Cambridge Primary School serves kindergarteners through second graders. Grote has been principal of the school for eight years. Previously, he taught grades two, three, and four during his 22 years working for Cambridge-Isanti Schools, and coached multiple sports for all levels at Cambridge-Isanti and Braham schools, Isanti County News reports.

During a news conference Monday, Cambridge-Isanti Superintendent Dr. Ray Queener wouldn't comment on Grote's job status, but said the principal of another school in the district has agreed to take on Grote's duties for the time being.

To read the charges for yourself, click to page two.

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Chris Grote Charges



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