Attorney: Flaws of bail reform apparent in sucker-punch case

Rush Hour

(NewsNation) — The bail reform law may have passed with good intentions, but the consequences still point to a flawed system.

On Thursday, the man who allegedly sucker-punched an unsuspecting stranger in New York City so hard that it put the victim in a coma was released without bail.

The NYPD initially charged Bui Van Phu, 55, with attempted murder, but the charges were reduced by the Bronx district attorney. Phu was then freed from custody without bail on misdemeanor assault and harassment charges.

Criminal defense attorney Arie Shamuilian said he doesn’t anticipate the case will remain a misdemeanor.

“I think that the district attorney’s office is gonna go ahead and build up the case, once they receive medical records,” Shamuilian said Friday on NewsNation’s “Rush Hour.” “It’s particularly shocking in this case, that the victim in the case has suffered such great injuries. Such as being induced in a medically induced coma, and now it’s a misdemeanor. I don’t think it’ll be like this for long.”

Shamuilian says bail deals with two major factors: Danger to the community and flight risk.

“I assume that the defense in this case argue that the defendant is not a danger to the community. He’s not a flight risk because he resides in the community. However, if you look at the video on this case, what’s particularly egregious is that prior to the strike, the defendant puts a glove on his hand and then walks up and does the punch,” Shamuilian said.

Shamuilian also highlighted some of the positive aspects to bail reform, saying he’s had innocent clients who would be stuck in custody throughout the duration of their case, preventing them from proving their innocence.

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