A convicted sex offender who was caught on surveillance footage last Friday knocking out a random restaurant patron, leaving the victim with a fractured skull, has had his attempted murder charges reduced and is already back out on the streets.
The offender, 55-year-old Van Phu Bui, reportedly didn’t even know the victim, and there were no prior interactions between them.
“The 52-year-old victim – shown [in surveillance footage] carrying a backpack – was leaving the Fuego Tipico Restaurant on East 188th Street near the Grand Concourse in Fordham Manor around 10:45 p.m. [last] Friday when he stopped near a group of people chatting outside,” according to the New York Post.
“He was followed out by a balding man wearing a black T-shirt. Footage released early Wednesday shows the man putting on what appear to be work gloves before slugging the victim from behind, causing him to fall onto the sidewalk and hit his head.”
Watch the surveillance footage below (*Graphic content):
Aug 12th in Bronx NY a 52 year old man was knocked out unconscious in an unprovoked attack. The man was taken to the hospital and is in stable condition #NYC #Bronx #wednesdaythought pic.twitter.com/9IZ6GVrU6v
— Viral News NY (@ViralNewsNYC) August 17, 2022
The victim reportedly suffered a fractured skull and brain bleed. As of Thursday, he was in a medically induced coma.
Phu meanwhile had his attempted murder charges reduced to assault and harassment, both petty misdemeanors, by the Bronx District Attorney’s Office.
“The police charged him with Attempted Murder and when we got the case we evaluated and charged based on evidence we had,” a spokesperson for the office told the Post.
This despite Phu having reportedly freely confessed to the crime.
“I hit someone and he’s in the hospital. I don’t know if he’s dead. The police are looking for me,” he told his parole officer, according to the Post.
And this is also despite Phu being a convicted sex offender.
“Phu was convicted of first-degree sex abuse in The Bronx in 1995 and was sentenced to six years to life in prison, according to state records. He was paroled in 2019 and is now registered as a Level 3 sex offender — the most serious designation — for sexually abusing the 17-year-old girl in 1994,” the Post notes.
Phu’s new misdemeanor charges aren’t bail eligible, and so a Bronx judge “cut him loose on supervised release at his arraignment Thursday,” according to the Post.
In other words, despite nearly killing a man, Phu got to walk away from his crime nearly scot-free, save for two misdemeanors that, combined, are punishable by up to two years in jail — not that the lax judges in the New York City area would ever even sentence him to that much time.
NYC judges and prosecutors alike have a track record of leniency, much to the chagrin of local business owners.
About two weeks ago, a large coalition of local small business owners issued a joint statement slamming the city’s lawlessness.
“The small business community has insisted that repeat offenders responsible for violent crimes are still out on the street, even after being arrested multiple times. This has resulted in an increase in shoplifting, public attacks, and damages against their establishments,” the coalition said, according to the Post.
Even New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, has complained about this phenomenon.
Eric Adams slams ‘broken’ bail reform, reveals TEN recidivists responsible for nearly 500 arrests, most roaming free via @americanwire_ – https://t.co/J0pJQRr89y
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) August 4, 2022
“Time and time again, our police officers are making arrests, and then the person who is arrested for assault, felonious assault, robberies, and gun possessions, they’re finding themselves back on the street within days, if not hours after arrest, and they go on to commit more crimes within weeks, if not days,” he said during an Aug. 3rd press conference.
“Under the current law, judges are not allowed to consider whether someone is a threat to public safety when deciding whether or not to hold them in custody. This is a big mistake. New York, as the commissioner stated, is the only state in the union that is not unified on the power of public safety as a prerequisite to how we judge these cases.”
He added, “As a result of this insane, broken system, our recidivism rates have skyrocketed, and those who say that the predicted wave of recidivism wouldn’t happen and the studies that claim to show that the rate of arrests for violent felonies has not changed since the reforms were passed, I have one word for you: wrong. You are wrong.”
Part of the problem is that NYC prosecutors and judges tend to be left-wingers who are lenient toward crime. The other part of the problem is the state’s bail reform laws that have made it near impossible to hold most criminals behind bars.
Here is “Recidivist #6” @NYPDnews is highlighting:
-71 career arrests
-57 arrests since 2020 (when bail reform was passed) pic.twitter.com/abnLKsmD4U
— Morgan McKay (@morganfmckay) August 3, 2022
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