MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Police arrested a Burnsville man after he allegedly beat his stepdaughter and her boyfriend with a metal fireplace poker when he happened upon them in bed together last month.
Police arrested 42-year-old Cornelius Shaw on May 27, and he has been charged with one count of malicious punishment of a child.
A criminal complaint shows that police first heard of the incident on May 26 from Shaw’s stepdaughter’s boyfriend, who was at a hospital being treated for wounds he received from being punched and hit with a fireplace poker.
The boyfriend told police that he snuck into his girlfriend’s room, an action he told police he had done before, to spend the night with his girlfriend. The next morning, he woke to the sound of Shaw coming into the room to wake his stepdaughter for school.
Upset by the boyfriend’s presence in the room, Shaw hit the boyfriend as he tried to put on his clothes and leave the house. As the boyfriend was leaving the room, he told police he heard his girlfriend say, “You can’t hit me like that.”
After listening to the boyfriend’s story, police tried to find his girlfriend and check on her condition. Police did not find her at school. When they arrived at Shaw’s residence, police found Shaw and asked to see his stepdaughter. Shaw said that nothing had happened, but when police related the boyfriend’s story, Shaw became agitated and uncooperative. After police insisted, Shaw called down to his stepdaughter, who then said she was fine.
The next day, on May 27, social service workers at the stepdaughter’s school reported that she had sustained injuries from a fireplace poker. Police went to the school and found that the stepdaughter had long, swollen bruises on her left wrist and left knee.
She told police that Shaw hit her with the poker after her boyfriend had left. She also told police that although Shaw was her stepfather, he had been in her life since she was young.
Police then went to Shaw’s residence with a search warrant, but they didn’t find the fireplace poker. Shaw was not home when police began the search, but when he arrived at his home, he found police inside. Shaw was then arrested.
At the police department, Shaw told police, in a statement, a story similar to the ones told by his stepdaughter and her boyfriend. However, Shaw said that the boyfriend had pushed him over and hurt his back. Police said that Shaw admitted to hitting his stepdaughter with a poker. Shaw said that he shouldn’t have done it, but if he found the two in bed together, he said he would probably beat his stepdaughter again.