Suspected Lake Zurich HS teacher attacked at home by accuser's relative

  • Ronald Culver

    Ronald Culver

 
 
Updated 1/21/2011 8:45 PM

A former Lake Zurich High School teacher facing charges he molested two of his students was attacked in his Inverness home this week by a relative of one of his accusers, authorities said.

Ronald D. Culver, 51, of the 900 block of Blackburn Drive, answered his door about 8 p.m. Tuesday and found himself face-to-face with the relative, who screamed at him, Inverness Police Chief Bob Haas said.

 

"He started screaming, 'You're a child molester!' 'You ruined my child's life!'" Haas said.

The man pulled a small-caliber revolver from his sweatshirt and began backing Culver into the house toward the kitchen, Haas said.

After pushing Culver onto a bench, the man put the barrel of the gun into Culver's mouth and threatened him, then struck the former teacher in the head with the gun before leaving, a spokesman for the Cook County state's attorney's office said.

Culver refused medical treatment from paramedics called to the scene for a minor cut to his head, but he later took himself to a hospital, Haas said.

The defendant turned himself in to Inverness police Wednesday morning and surrendered the gun, which he claimed was not loaded Tuesday night, Haas said.

"He said it was to scare the individual who lived there, the homeowner," the chief said.

The man did not offer any particular reason for the timing of his actions, other than saying the accusations against Culver had been weighing on his mind since last fall, Haas said.

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The Daily Herald is not naming the man to protect the identity of the student Culver is accused of assaulting.

Police charged the man with home invasion, a felony that carries a mandatory sentence of six to 30 years in prison. Authorities continue to investigate and additional charges could be filed, officials said.

A Cook County judge set the defendant's bail at $25,000, requiring him to post $2,500 for his release. He does not have any criminal background, said the state's attorney spokesman. He's scheduled to appear in court Feb. 14.

The home invasion suspect, who also lives in Inverness, is prohibited from coming within a mile of Culver's home, Haas said.

Culver, a former English and drama teacher at Lake Zurich, has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse stemming from the two students' allegations. He resigned from his teaching job Oct. 29 and was arrested a couple of days later. He would not comment on the attack.

Considered to be popular among students, Culver had been involved with the high school drama club since coming over from another Lake Zurich Unit District 95 building in 2002.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Lake Zurich students are off today because of a districtwide teachers institute session and District 95 spokeswoman Jean Malek declined to comment on the latest incident involving Culver.

Malek said counselors visited students in Culver's classes to offer their services after the instructor's arrest.

"We made it clear to everyone that counselors are available to them," she said.

District 95 officials, Lake Zurich police and Lake County prosecutors have been steadfast in trying to protect the student victims, to the point of not even revealing their genders.

Culver remains free after posting 10 percent of a $250,000 bond. He faces a possible sentence of three to seven years in prison if convicted.

• Daily Herald staff writers Lee Filas and Bob Susnjara contributed to this report.