Suspect released on bail in Bronx sucker-punch attack back in custody

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Saturday, August 20, 2022
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A man released on bail one day after police say he sucker-punched an unsuspecting victim is now back in custody. Naveen Dhaliwal has more.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A man released on bail one day after police say he sucker-punched an unsuspecting victim outside a restaurant is now back in custody.

Gov. Kathy Hochul made the call to take 55-year-old Van Phu Bui back into custody on Friday.

He was released Thursday morning, and many were left wondering why.

The 52-year-old victim remains in coma after the attack outside the Fuego Tipico Restaurant on East 188th Street.

The victim suffered a skull fracture, a broken cheekbone, and bleeding on his brain.

Officials say Bui was released because his charge was reduced from attempted murder to a lesser offense of misdemeanor assault and harassment.

Under the cashless bail law, he was allowed to be set free.

Hochul and her challenger, Lee Zeldin, both commended on the matter on Friday.

"I took action in my own hands, directed the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to immediately examine whether or not this parole violation occurred, yes it did, you can tell this occurred, this is a person on lifetime parole, and as of minutes ago, that person is now in custody," Hochul said.

"For all elected officials up in Albany, they should be going back into a special session and overhauling these cashless bail laws," Zeldin said. "How does a judge not have discretion to decide to keep this person in prison."

Bui has a list of arrests on his record and he is also a registered sex offender.

The Bronx District Attorney's office is investigating further to see if the charges against Bui will be elevated.

The NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision released the following statement:

"After a thorough investigation, DOCCS directed Mr. Van Phu Bui to report to his parole officer this morning. He was taken into custody on a non-technical DOCCS warrant without incident and will be held at the New York City Department of Correction Eric M. Taylor Center. As required by law, Mr. Bui will have a recognizance hearing before a Bronx judge within the next 24 hours."

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