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Jesus Cortes: Man, 52, attacked by sex offender taken off ventilator as his condition improves

The victim's brother Juan Cortes stated that he was relieved but also nervous as this was the first big step
UPDATED AUG 23, 2022
Jesus Cortes, 52, was punched by Bui Van Phu, a convicted sex offender in an unprovoked attack (GoFundMe and New York Sex Offender Registry)
Jesus Cortes, 52, was punched by Bui Van Phu, a convicted sex offender in an unprovoked attack (GoFundMe and New York Sex Offender Registry)

BRONX, NEW YORK CITY: The condition of a man, who was sucker punched by a convicted sex offender in an unprovoked attack, has reportedly been better as he was taken off the ventilator. Jesus Cortes’ brother confirmed the news to The New York Post.

Jesus Cortes was in critical condition after the 55-year-old suspect Bui Van Phu violently attacked him on August 12, leaving him with a fractured skull, broken cheekbone, and bleeding in the brain. After the attack, he was taken to the hospital, where doctors placed him on a ventilator and also in a medically-induced coma.


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However, on Sunday, August 21, his situation changed for the better as his brother Juan Cortes said, “I’m relieved he is off it, but I’m nervous. This is the first big step. They are watching him for 12 hours to make sure he doesn’t need [the ventilator]. … This is the news I want to hear. Now I have to pray for my brother to be strong and not go back on it.”

The concerned brother also told The New York Post that the doctors have told him “the numbers are good”. He added, “I’m waiting for the good news that he doesn’t have to go back on it.  They are checking on him every hour. Please God, give my brother the strength to stay off the ventilator.”

Meanwhile, the alleged attacker was initially charged with attempted murder for the random attack. Later, the charges were changed to misdemeanor assault by the Bronx District Attorney’s Office’s prosecutors, and was released without bail. However, it led to public outrage and Governor Kathy Hochul said that her office contacted “the Bronx District Attorney’s Office to talk about the actual charges that were filed because … we want to make sure that our laws are being properly executed.”

She noted, “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. This is a person on lifetime parole, and as of minutes ago, that person is now in custody. That is at my direction.”

After Phu’s re-arrest, Juan said, “Thank God, first. Thank God for the governor. Now [Bui] is in jail he can’t hurt anyone else. He is not supposed to be in the community, not just for us but all the families that live around here and the kids. They gonna feel comfortable now with this type of person in jail.  Now he is in the right place — jail. He has to be in the inferno.”

He also believes that since the beginning, the Vietnamese refugee has been slapped with only a felony. Juan noted that since August 12, he and the pet birds at the home were disheartened. “They can feel my brother is not home. Usually, when he comes home, he takes care of them. Now they don’t see him. They don’t make as much noise as before. They miss him. I would open the cage, put the music and the tv on, and they would fly around, into the kitchen, the living room. But now they don’t fly around. They stay in the cage,” he claimed. The victim’s niece Daisy Gomez added, “I believe [Bui] should have never been let out in the first place. We want him behind bars and to do time – not like five years, more than that.”

Meanwhile, Jesus Cortes' employers has started a GoFundMe campaign to help in his recovery.