A Minnesota teen accused in a brutal beating that left a teacher’s aide fighting for his life in the ICU was allowed to walk out of jail Wednesday without posting bail.
Corey David Burfield, 18, appeared in court for the first time this week after being charged with one count of first-degree assault, and one count of third-degree assault for his violent attack on teaching assistant Mohammed Dukuly, the Minnesota Star Tribune reported. The accused teen was ultimately allowed to return home thanks to his mother, who convinced a judge he wouldn’t be a flight risk because she’d be watching him.
Dukuly, who has served as a paraprofessional at Harrison Education Center for 10 years, is described as a great teacher who was well-liked by students at the alternative high school. According to details of the attack, Burfield knocked the teacher to the floor before punching him several times in the face. The brutal assault left Dukuly unresponsive, so much so that he was placed on a ventilator in the ICU.
“Quite frankly, we are disappointed,” Imam Mohammed Dukuly, the victim’s uncle, told reporters of the decision to let Burfield walk. ” … For a serious case like this, I think he should’ve been on bail.”
Though Burfield doesn’t have any past criminal history, his violent behavior has been well-documented for years and includes previous attacks on teachers, classmates and even his own family, local station KSTP reported.
Court documents showed the teen was “… involved in an unprovoked attack against four school staff with one of the staff sustaining a concussion” back in December 2015. He had a similar incident at another school where he allegedly “made countless swings at a male staff’s head, face and throat.”
Dukuly’s uncle said he fears the Burfield will strike again.
Dukuly has made dramatic improvements in the days since the attack and no longer needs a ventilator, according to the newspaper. Relatives say he can now sit up in his hospital bed and is moving his arms and legs.
“We feel like a heavy mountain has been removed from our head,” Imam Dukuly added. “He can recognize us and we are very excited and grateful to Allah and for the community support. It’s our prayer that the strength we see will continue in his recovery.”
As for Burfield, the teen will be required to wear an ankle monitor and was ordered to stay away from Dukuly. He must also see a mental health professional within two weeks.
His next court appearance is scheduled for June 22.