Only After Backlash the Bronx Prosecutors Want to Upgrade Charges of Man Who Sucker Punched Man Into Coma
It might be too late for the Bronx DA.
Bronx prosecutors want a grand jury to upgrade charges against Van Phi Bui, 55, who sucker-punched a man into a coma.
But the prosecutors have only asked the grand jury to do this after The New York Post outed the office for downgrading the charges to misdemeanor charges that did not require bail even though the cops arrested him for attempted murder!
The Bronx District Attorney’s office charged Bui with third-degree assault and second-degree harassment.
It’s not just that the Bui almost killed Jesus Cortes, 52, but Bui is a convicted sex offender out on lifetime parole. The parole board released him in 2019 as a Level 3 sex offender, the most severe designation, after being convicted of first-0degree sex abuse of a 17-year-old girl in 1995.
Bui also told his parole officer he attacked Cortes. The parole officer could not arrest him “without ‘additional clear and convincing evidence’ he had violated the terms of his parole on the sex assault charge.”
Gov. Kathy Hochul demanded officials rearrest Bui.
That’s when the police rearrested Bui, claiming the original arrest “was a violation of his lifetime parole.”
Now the prosecutors want to charge Bui with a felony:
Bui was back in court Tuesday for a scheduled hearing in his assault case. The Bronx District Attorney’s Office told the judge it is asking a grand jury to have the misdemeanor charges against the suspect upgraded to a felony.
A felony charge would be bail-eligible and could help keep Bui behind bars while also increasing any potential prison time for him if he is convicted. It was not clear what the sought felony charge was or how many felonies Bui could face.
The grand jury was considering the prosecution’s request Tuesday, with Bui declining to testify, a Bronx DA rep said after the court hearing.
It might be too late for the prosecutors, though:
A previous lawyer for Bui said at a recent parole hearing that it would be unfair for his client to face upgraded charges, claiming such raps would be the result of “outside pressures from the press and the governor.”
The suspect’s current lawyer, Casey Trimble of the Legal Aid Society, appeared in court Tuesday with a black leather briefcase with silver lettering that read “Free Them All.”
He objected to courtroom photography by The Post, calling articles covering his client “grotesque” and “tantamount to character assassination.”
Trimble opposed prosecutors’ request Tuesday to amend the already in-progress order of protection for the 52-year-old victim, Jesus Cortes, to include the pummeled guy’s family, who live in the same neighborhood.
“[Bui] has no interest in contacting members of [Cortes’s] family,” Trimble said.
The doctors had to put Cortes on a ventilator and place him in a medically induced coma. The attack caused his brain to bleed and left him with a fractured skull and broken cheekbone.
Thank goodness Cortes survived. The doctors took him off the ventilator a few weeks ago, and he could speak to his family.
New York is obsessed with eliminating bail. Bronx District Attorney Darcel Denise Clark is not backed by George Soros like Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, so I don’t know her motivation.
It’s weird because, in January, Clark promised to “continue to treat incidences of violent crime with the utmost seriousness and will do everything possible to protect the people of the Bronx from violent criminals.”
The punishment for third-degree assault is up to one year in prison. The judge could sentence the person to three years probation, though.
Second-degree harassment in New York is considered a violation, not a crime. The punishment is up to 12 days in jail. But most of the time, a violation “will resulting a ‘time-served sentence, which oftentimes is no jail time at all, or just the time spent in arrest processing.”DONATE
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