On August 12, Jesus Cortes was leaving the Fuego Tipico Restaurant in the Bronx in the late evening, when a man allegedly knocked him down in an unprovoked attack, causing him to hit his head on the cement.
The victim suffered a skull fracture, a broken cheekbone and a brain bleed. He required surgery and was in a medically-induced coma. He was taken off the ventilator on Sunday and is hopefully on the mend.
The man who attacked him, snuck up behind him, and hit him out-of-the-blue, demanding nothing.
The alleged attacker is a homeless, convicted sex-offender, who spent many years in prison and was released on parole in 2019.
For his attack on Cortes, Bui Van Phu, 55, was arrested and charged with attempted murder, but the charge was later downgraded by the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, to assault and harassment, which are both misdemeanors. He was released without bail and was walking the streets. The new charges against Phu did not require bail, and a Bronx judge released the suspect during his arraignment on Thursday, according to the DA’s Office.
Due to public outcry and the actions of Governor Kathy Hochul of New York, the suspect was charged with a parole violation and is back on Riker’s Island.
The crime on the Bronx Street is seen on video that was released last Wednesday.
Phu has a previous criminal history of first-degree sexual abuse, in 1995, in the Bronx. He was sentenced to six years to life in prison for that crime, but was released on parole in 2019 and is registered as a sex offender. He sexually abused a 17-year-old girl in 1994.
When asked about the hit on Cortes, Phu confessed to his parole officer that he had hit Cortes and knocked him down. “I hit someone and he’s in the hospital. I don’t know if he’s dead,” he said. “The police are looking for me.”
Convicts, including sex offenders, who are registered, are known to be walking the streets. The Bronx DA and a Bronx judge freed a dangerous person who is capable of attacking people at random in the Bronx residential and commercial neighborhood and potentially NYC.
Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said she contacted the Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark, and ordered corrections officials to “immediately examine” if Phu violated parole terms following his August 12 attack on Cortes.
Subsequently, and after much public outcry, another corrections hearing was held, and Phu, who was a member of a Vietnamese street gang in the 1980s, was re-arrested Friday and returned to Riker’s Island jail on Saturday.
“He has a substantial risk of not returning to his parole,” Department of Corrections and Community Service Officer Nixon Ribera said at the hearing regarding Phu, according to the Daily News.