Bronx parolee accused of punching person into a coma, charged with felony
A Bronx parolee has been charged with a felony for allegedly punching a man into a coma.
Bui Van Phu pleaded not guilty to a second-degree assault charge in court on Thursday.
The Bronx District Attorney’s Office says Van Phu punched 52-year-old Jesus Cortes in front of Fuego Tipico Restaurant in August. Van Phu was already on lifetime parole for a sex abuse case and criminal possession of a firearm.
Cortes was in a coma for weeks following the incident, and his family says his recovery isn’t over yet. Cortes is still in the hospital.
Van Phu was granted supervised release on Aug. 17 on a misdemeanor charge but was rearrested two days later when his charge was elevated to a felony.
His attorney claimed the DA’s office gave in to pressure from Gov. Kathy Hochul, but District Attorney Darcel Clark says her office made the decision off of further investigation into medical records, surveillance video and witness testimonies.
Bronx Supreme Court Justice George Villegas has set Van Phu’s vail at $100,000 cash. He is due back in court on Dec. 15.