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DA DEFENDS misdemeanor assault charge for NYC sex offender who punched diner in shocking attack

A New York City sex offender who brutally beat a man is back behind bars after Gov. Kathy Hochul ordered his arrest and questioned the Bronx District Attorney’s office about why it filed misdemeanor charges against him while his victim lay in a coma.

Bui Van Phu, 55, a registered sex offender on lifetime parole, was allowed to walk straight out of Bronx Criminal Court on supervised release without bail Thursday afternoon, after appearing before a judge where he was arraigned on third-degree assault, and second-degree harassment.

Neither of those charges are bail eligible under current New York state laws. 

Phu was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, but the DA later filed the misdemeanor charges. The DA’s office defended itself by claiming it is ‘still investigating’ the shocking attack.

The victim, Jesus Cortes, was left with a fractured skull and a brain bleed after the attack a week ago. He has since had brain surgery and is in a coma.

Hochul said on Friday that state officials contacted the Bronx DA to ‘talk about the actual charges that were filed because … we want to make sure that our laws are being properly executed,’ according to the New York Post

‘But I took action in my own hands. I directed the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to immediately examine whether or not this parole violation occurred. Yes, it did. You could tell it occurred,’ she said. 

‘This is a person on lifetime parole and as of minutes ago, that person is now in custody. That is at my direction.’ 

Bui Van Phu, 55, a registered sex offender on lifetime parole, was initially arrested on suspicion of attempted murder by the NYPD after he handed himself in to police on Thursday – but was allowed to walk free on misdemeanor charges. He is back behind bars after Gov. Kathy Hochul ordered his arrest

Horrifying surveillance footage shows the victim, 52, crumpling to the floor as he is attacked from behind

Horrifying surveillance footage shows the victim, 52, crumpling to the floor as he is attacked from behind

Shortly before the attack Phu positions himself behind his victim, before raining down a vicious blow in front of a group of other people outside of the restauran

Shortly before the attack Phu positions himself behind his victim, before raining down a vicious blow in front of a group of other people outside of the restauran

In a statement on Friday, the Bronx DA’s office said it was ‘obtaining additional evidence, revieving video, speaking to witnesses, analyzing medical records, and providing crime victim services

‘As the investigation continues, it will be determined if elevated charges will be brought against the defendant.’

Court records obtained by DailyMail.com indicate the lesser charges were laid because Phu ‘intentionally (caused) physical injury and with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person.’

Phu was convicted for attempted robbery in 1991 and is a registered sex offender – who was out on parole after being convicted of raping a 17-year-old girl at gunpoint on December 24, 1994. He was released from prison in March 2019 

In horrifying footage released by the NYPD, Phu is seen walking out of the Fuego Tipico restaurant in the Bronx, and pulling on a pair of gloves. 

He is then seen punching the victim with great force in the back of the head.  The victim was found unconscious and unresponsive on the ground after the unprovoked attack and was rushed to the hospital. 

In a conversation with Phu’s parole officer, documented by the court, he recounts the incident: ‘I’m in trouble. I hit someone and he’s in the hospital.

‘I don’t know if he’s dead. The police are looking for me. I was at the restaurant and I know the police are looking for me.’ 

Court records obtained by DailyMail.com indicate the lesser charges were laid because Phu 'intentionally (caused) physical injury and with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person

Court records obtained by DailyMail.com indicate the lesser charges were laid because Phu ‘intentionally (caused) physical injury and with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person 

Phu was allowed to walk straight out of Bronx Criminal Court on supervised release without bail Thursday afternoon, after appearing before a judge where he was arraigned on third-degree assault, and second-degree harassment

Phu was allowed to walk straight out of Bronx Criminal Court on supervised release without bail Thursday afternoon, after appearing before a judge where he was arraigned on third-degree assault, and second-degree harassment

In a conversation with Phu's parole officer, documented by the court, he recounts the incident: 'I'm in trouble. I hit someone and he's in the hospital

In a conversation with Phu’s parole officer, documented by the court, he recounts the incident: ‘I’m in trouble. I hit someone and he’s in the hospital 

The horrific surveillance video released by the NYPD captures the moment Phu put on a pair of gloves and swung with great force, hitting the victim in the back of the head.

He then immediately falls to the floor, appearing to be unconscious, banging his head on the concrete after the sudden attack. The victim suffered a skull fracture, broken cheek bone and bleeding on the brain, with EMS rushing him to NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi.

The NYPD claim that he ‘without prior conversation or altercation’ punched the victim in the face, before ‘returning back into the restaurant and later to parts unknown’.

The man is currently in a critical but stable condition, and investigations into the brutal attack are ongoing.

 A NYPD spokesman said: ‘It was reported to police that on Friday, August 12, 2022 at approximately 2245 hours, police responded to a 911 call of a male assaulted in front of the Fuego Tipico Restaurant located at 163 Eat 188 Street.

‘Upon arrival, responding officers discovered a 52-year-old male victim unconscious and unresponsive on the ground with trauma to his head.

‘Upon further investigation, the victim exited the restaurant, stopped and observed several individuals talking, at which time an individual exited the restaurant put on a pair of gloves and positioned himself behind the victim. 

‘Without prior conversation or altercation, the individual punched the victim in the face before returning back into the restaurant and later to parts unknown.

‘The victim sustained a skull fracture, broken cheek bone and bleeding on his brain.

 ‘EMS responded to the scene and transported the victim to NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi, where he is listed critical but stable condition, the investigation is ongoing.’

‘I don’t understand why that happened to him,’ the victim’s brother told News 12

‘When I saw the video, my brother was just standing and not doing nothing with nobody. He was getting ready to go home.’


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