Bui Van Phu: NYC thug who left man in coma is FREED with charge downgraded to MISDEMEANOR

The victim's family cannot believe criminal Bui Van Phu is set free only a week after knocking Jesus Cortes into a coma

Bui Van Phu: NYC thug who left man in coma is FREED with charge downgraded to MISDEMEANOR
Sex Offender, Bui Van Phu walks free without bail after punching a man to death in New York (Fox 5 New York/YouTube, NY Sex Offender Registry)
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BRONX, NYC: Sex Offender, Bui Van Phu, 55 who was arrested for attempted murder charges was allowed to walk free without bail on August 18 after his charges were dropped to a misdemeanor. On August, 12, Bui Van Phu allegedly sucker punched Jesus Cortes, 52. Phu knocked Cortes with great force in the back of the head, fracturing his skull on the Bronx street, he is now battling for his life, induced coma with brain injuries. The new charges against Phu are not bailable and Bronx Judge Giyang An cut him loose on supervised release at his arraignment on Thursday, a spokesperson for the DA’s Office said. 

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Bui Van Phu, who was charged by the police with attempted murder, allegedly confessed the crime to his parole officer, according to the complaint against him. “I hit someone and he’s in the hospital. I don’t know if he’s dead,” he told the officer. “The police are looking for me.” Instead, the Bronx District Attorney’s Office charged him with assault and harassment, both misdemeanors, for the brutal knockout punch, which immediately left the man unconscious on the street, with a bleeding brain, and trauma to his head. The victim was leaving the Fuego Tipico Restaurant on East 188th Street near the Grand Concourse in Fordham Manor around 10.45 pm when he stopped near a group of people chatting outside, cops said. Phu and Cortes did not know each other, and there did not appear to be any interaction between them prior to the punch, police said.

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In the surveillance footage released by the NYPD, Phu put on what appear to be work gloves, before randomly punching the victim from behind on the head, causing him to fall onto the sidewalk lying unconscious. Cortes was taken to Jacobi Medical Center with a skull fracture, broken cheekbone, and bleeding in the brain, according to authorities. Phu was convicted of attempted robbery in 1991 and was a registered sex offender after being convicted of raping a 17-year-old girl at gunpoint on December 24, 1994. He was paroled in 2019 and is now registered as a Level 3 sex offender, which is the most serious designation for sexual abuse. Phu's charges are now third-degree assault and second-degree harassment. The basis of the charges is that Phu "intentionally (caused) physical injury and with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person."

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Mugshots of Phu available on his sex offender's profile (NY Criminal Justice Services)
Mugshots of Phu are available on his sex offender's profile (NY Criminal Justice Services)

Despite the family’s outrage, suspects in one-punch cases often only face misdemeanor assault charges initially. “Generally, when somebody punches somebody else, the intent is not to kill them,” said veteran defense lawyer Mario Gallucci. “You usually can only charge a misdemeanor assault, unless you can prove there was intent to commit a homicide.” Anel Cortes, 29, a niece of the victim, said of Van Phu’s release, “It’s just something crazy, because he had previous criminal history.” she added, “I’m in shock right now because I didn’t expect that.” The family has been told there is a long recovery ahead for the victim given the severity of his injuries.
 

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