Court Documents: Student Accused of Putting Teaching Assistant in the Hospital Has Violent Past

May 24, 2018 10:18 PM

Eighteen-year-old Cory Burfield has been charged with first-degree assault and third-degree assault following an attack on teaching assistant Mohammed Dukuly at Harrison Education Center Tuesday.

Burfield is now out of jail and doesn't have a criminal history. However, court documents from over the past few years show he does have an extremely violent past.


"He's going to do it again," Imam Mohammed Dukuly, the victim's uncle, said.  "The fact that he did this and he can be released on the second day, I'm quite sure a lot of people are going to fall victim to this young man."

RELATED: Student Charged in Harrison Assault Released From Jail

Burfield's violent behavior has been known and well documented for years.

KSTP found previous attacks on teachers, peers and his own family dating back to 2015, when Burfield was just 16-years-old.

Court documents say, "In December 2015, Cory was involved in an unprovoked attack against four school staff with one of the staff sustaining a concussion."  It goes on to read that altercation involved Burfield "striking (the staff) in the face and/or head."

RELATED: MPS Superintendent 'Deeply, Deeply Concerned' for Students, Staff after Assault at Minneapolis School

At his next school, he had two staff members dedicated solely to him. However, court filings regarding his behavior read, "On October 17, 2016, Cory was involved in another incident at his new school.  Cory made countless swings at a male staff's head, face and throat."

The 18-year-old lives with mental illness but Hennepin County Prosecutor Mike Freeman says he'll make no exceptions.

"He assaulted someone who, in many ways, could have died," Freeman said. "We just can't allow this."

RELATED: HCMC: Minneapolis Teaching Assistant Remains in Critical Condition Following Alleged Assault

A year-and-a-half ago, court documents show a social worker wrote Burfield's violent behavior is, "increasing in severity. In the previous four months, he had four violent episodes at school."

It's not only schools and social workers who were previously aware of Burfield's behavior and special needs.

Police were called to the family's home 52 times in just a one-year period for incidents regarding Burfield and his sister.

RELATED: Student Charged in Connection to Assault at Minneapolis School

One court filing regarding the safety of an infant in the family's home reads, "Between November 9, 2015 and November 9, 2016, Minneapolis police were called to the home 52 times for domestics (21 times), threats (2), lost child (runaway 9 times), damage to property (2), emotionally disturbed person (4) and other called related to disruptive behavior."

"A lot of these young people in these schools have previous minor and some more significant offenses. We understand that and the people who work in these schools understand it," Freeman said. "But, I repeat, everyone is entitled to be free from assaults."

The court documents reviewed by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS also detail situations of domestic violence and homelessness Burfield experienced as a child and that he has been kicked out of at least two schools for his violent behavior prior to this incident.  

RELATED: Family Identifies Man Who Was Critically Injured in Assault at Minneapolis School

Burfield's mother declined an interview.

It's now up to Harrison Education Center to decide if he can return.



Katherine Johnson

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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