Ex-teaching asst. charged with assaulting Cumberland Co. student has criminal background

Kristopher Quinton Lee McCray (Cumberland County Sheriff's Office)


FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — A former Fayetteville teaching assistant is out on bond Wednesday, after being accused of flipping over a desk and injuring a special needs student.

The incident reportedly happened last month at Ashley Elementary School. Sources told CBS North Carolina that the student is 12-years-old and is autistic.

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office says the entire incident was caught on surveillance video.

Kristopher McCray, 30, is charged with assault on a handicapped person.

The incident happened Feb. 17 at Ashley Elementary on Trainer Drive.

According to court documents, McCray placed his foot under the desk the student was sitting in, turning the desk over.

Court documents say the incident caused the student’s head to strike the wall and floor.

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“It’s a bad thing, I know it takes a special person to work with a special needs child and Mr. McCray didn’t use his best judgment in what took place,” said Sean Swain, spokesman for the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

McCray has an extensive criminal background from multiple counties.  McCray’s criminal background goes back to 2006.

Although most of his charges were dropped, McCray’s record includes assault on a female, felony breaking and entering, felony embezzlement and several traffic violations.

RELATED: Fayetteville teaching assistant assaulted student with autism, deputies say

 “I was surprised to see Mr. McCray’s history, I don’t know what the hiring process is at the school system but it would surprise me that he’d be teacher’s assistant at the school system,” Swain said.

In a statement, Cumberland County School District Superintendent Dr. Frank Till said: “Mr. McCray did go through a background check and was cleared for employment in April of 2014.”

McCray has worked for Cumberland County Schools since February of 2014.

A spokesperson for the school district said McCray was suspended with pay three days after the incident occurred.

McCray resigned a day later, the school spokesperson said.

McCray didn’t open the door when CBS North Carolina visited his house earlier Wednesday to learn more about the case.

“Everybody making their comments, everybody got so much to say,” McCray said on a Facebook live video post.

McCray didn’t go into detail about the incident but said he was being used as a “fall guy.”

“I’m a good dude, you know what I’m saying, I have a good heart and I mean well. I’ve always meant the best for anybody I’ve never dealt with or anybody that I’ve ever interacted with,” McCray said in the video.

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office is not releasing the surveillance video, saying it’s part of their evidence.

McCray is free on a $1,000 bond. He’s due back in court next month.

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