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'May God forgive him, because I wouldn’t': Sister of man attacked by sex offender with shocking past fumes

The suspect, Bui Van Phu, 55, was charged with attempted murder after his attack left the victim, Jesus Cortez, 52, with a fractured skull
UPDATED AUG 18, 2022
 Bui Van Phu was arrested for punching Jesus Cortez outside a NYC restaurant (NY Criminal Justice Services, DCPI)
Bui Van Phu was arrested for punching Jesus Cortez outside a NYC restaurant (NY Criminal Justice Services, DCPI)

BRONX, NYC: A man was punched and beat up mercilessly outside a New York City restaurant on Wednesday, August 12. The suspect, Bui Van Phu, 55, has been taken into custody and is charged with attempted murder. The victim, Jesus Cortez, 52, fell victim to the unprovoked wordless attack when he was beaten brutally. His skull was fractured in the attack. 

Following the suspect's timely arrest, the victim's younger sister, Veronica Cortes hailed the NYPD and stated that her family have gone through a lot due to Phu's attack on her brother. In an interview with The Daily News, she said, "May God forgive him, because I wouldn’t," adding, "He did a lot of harm to me and my family, putting us through this." The 52-year-old victim is a resident of the Bronx neighborhood. 


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The incident took place in front of the Fuego Tipico restaurant on 163 East 188 Street, the Bronx. Police were called at 10.45 pm where they found Cortes lying unconscious with a head injury. He was rushed to the hospital where he is still undergoing treatment. The NYPD later confirmed they had arrested Phu. They believe both Phu and Cortes must have come out of the same restaurant before Phu landed a sucker punch on Cortes without any previous altercation, verbal or otherwise. He continued to brutally thrash the 52-year-old, after which the latter crumpled to the ground, unconscious.

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

After his one-sided and self-initiated altercation with Cortes, Phu walked back to the restaurant and then disappeared. He was described as an adult male, having a medium complexion and medium build with partial balding. He had been wearing a pair of black pants, a black t-shirt and gloves at the time of the incident. 

Bui Van Phu thrashed Cortes in an unprovoked altercation (DCPI)

Cortes, a resident of Bronx, worked in the kitchen of a Brooklyn restaurant. In regard to his attacker, his sister was quoted saying, "That kind of person shouldn’t be out on the street. I felt helplessness and anger and sadness, because that person who did the damage does not know the damage he did to the whole family." Her brother suffered a skull fracture, broken cheekbone and bleeding on the brain. He was rushed to the NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi by EMS.

The victim suffered head trauma from the attack (DCPI)

Incidentally, Phu has a long history of criminal offenses according to his court records. In 1991, he had been convicted of attempted robbery. He is also a registered sex offender, having been convicted of raping a 17-year-old girl at gunpoint on December 24, 1994. He had been released from prison in 2019.