Bronx sucker punch suspect back in jail on parole violation


(NewsNation) — The man accused of sucker punching an unsuspecting stranger in New York City so hard that it put him in a coma was back in jail Friday after being released without bail earlier in the week.

Bui Van Phu, 55, was originally arrested after allegedly being seen on surveillance footage brutally punching 52-year-old Jesus Cortes from behind in what appeared to be a random attack.

NewsNation local affiliate WPIX reports that Cortes suffered a skull fracture and bleeding and has been put in a medically induced coma.

The NYPD initially charged Phu 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.

Kathy Hochul
FILE – New York Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks to reporters about legislation passed during a special legislative session in the Red Room at the state Capitol, July 1, 2022, in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)

However, WPIX said Phu, who has a lengthy criminal record, has since been arrested for violating his parole. He is on lifetime parole for a sexual assault case and is a registered sex offender.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul called what happened “a horrific situation on all fronts, and said in a news conference that her administration contacted the Bronx District Attorney’s office to talk about the charges that were filed, the New York Post said.

“I directed the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to immediately examine if this parole violation happened, and yes it did. This was a person on lifetime parole, and as of minutes ago, that person is now in custody,” Hochul said, per WPIX. “That is at my direction.”

The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said in a statement to the Post that Bui was ordered to report to his parole officer and taken into custody on a non-technical DOCCS warrant without incident.

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