Attorney for NYC sucker punch attack suspect alleges ‘character murder’ as victim’s brother sobs in court


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The lawyer for the suspect in the New York ‘sucker punch’ attack claimed in a hearing Tuesday that his client has been subjected to ‘character assassination’ by the media, while the victim’s brother was in a coma after the unprovoked suit beatings of the released sex offender. the courtroom.

Bui Van Phu, a 55-year-old homeless convicted sex offender, was led handcuffed to the Bronx courtroom, where the defendant held his head down.

The Vietnamese immigrant, allegedly a member of a street gang, was arrested for the August 12 brutal Bronx attack on 52-year-old Jesus Cortes.

The NYPD recommended a charge of attempted murder, but Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark lowered the charges and Bui was released without bail under the state’s controversial reform bill, supported by New York Governor Kathy Hochul.

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Bui Van Phu seen on the left in his photo in the New York State Sex Offender Registry, and on the right, in a surveillance video of a pike knockout attack.
(New York State Sex Offender Registration/NYPD)

Public outcry over Bui’s release arose and Hochul intervened, leading to the suspect being re-arrested for allegedly violating the terms of his life parole. He’s been stuck on Rikers Island ever since. Clark’s prosecutors gave no indication on Tuesday whether they would upgrade the charges against Bui.

A September 15 date has been set for possible arraignment if a grand jury returns an indictment.

The judge ordered no communication between the defendant and Cortes, and his attorney, legal counsel Casey Trimble, told the court there is no interest and no attempt from his client.

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In the gallery was Cortes’ brother, who wept openly for the last few minutes. He looked straight at the defendant as he walked out, but Bui didn’t look back. The family did not want to talk to the press.

The NYPD has released video of an unprovoked August 12 attack that occurred at approximately 10:45 PM in front of 163 E 188 St in the Bronx.

The NYPD has released video of an unprovoked August 12 attack that occurred at approximately 10:45 PM in front of 163 E 188 St in the Bronx.

Trimble suggested to the judge that “several articles” had been written about his client, raising issues that were “completely irrelevant to this criminal case” and insisted that a “character assassination” of his client had taken place.

Video shows Bui donning work gloves on Aug. 12 before approaching Cortes, a Mexican immigrant he never met, from behind a restaurant and dealing a single blow to the back of the head and laying him on the concrete.

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Cortes suffered a fractured skull, broken cheek and brain haemorrhage. Bui was previously convicted of first-degree sexual assault in the Bronx in 1995 and was sentenced to six years to life in prison.

He was released on parole in 2019 and is now registered as a Level 3 sex offender — the most serious designation — for sexually abusing a 17-year-old girl in 1994, according to state records.