(New York Post) The sex fiend freed without bail after allegedly sucker-punching a stranger into a coma was arrested Friday on a parole violation — with Gov. Kathy Hochul claiming credit despite her refusal to roll back the state’s controversial bail-reform law.
Van Phu Bui, 55, was taken into custody after outrage sparked hours earlier by The Post’s front-page coverage of his release.
“Great! Now we just need an individual @nypost cover story, for every single violent crime, to persuade @GovKathyHochul to do her job,” Twitter user @patrickgrheaume wrote after Bui was apprehended.
During an unrelated news conference on Long Island, Hochul crowed that her administration contacted “the Bronx District Attorney’s Office to talk about the actual charges that were filed because … we want to make sure that our laws are being properly executed.”
The suspect was previously convicted of first-degree sexual abuse for an armed attack on a 17-year-old girl.
The NYPD had charged Bui with attempted murder, but Bronx prosecutors downgraded the rap to misdemeanor assault and harassment, no-bail violations, leading to his release Thursday.
“But I took action in my own hands,” Hochul boasted — taking a victory lap amid widespread criticism that she hasn’t done enough to correct mistakes in the 2019 bail-reform statute and her recent refusal to grant Mayor Eric Adams’ request to convene a related special session of the Legislature amid surging Big Apple crime.
“I directed the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to immediately examine whether or not this parole violation occurred,” Hochul said. “Yes, it did. You could tell it occurred.
“This is a person on lifetime parole, and as of minutes ago, that person is now in custody. That is at my direction,” she said.
n a statement, the DOCCS said Bui was ordered “to report to his parole officer this morning” and “was taken into custody on a non-technical DOCCS warrant without incident.”
He’s being held on Rikers Island pending a hearing that under state law must be held “before a Bronx judge within the next 24 hours,” the DOCCS said.
Victim Jesus Cortes’ younger brother, Juan Cortes, 49, was visiting his ailing 52-year-old sibling in the hospital and broke down in tears when The Post told him by phone that Bui was back in custody.
Juan Cortes spent nearly 2 minutes sobbing before he was able to compose himself.
“Thank God, first,” he said. “Thank God for the governor. Now [Bui] is in jail he can’t hurt anyone else.
“He is not supposed to be in the community, not just for us but all the families that live around here and the kids.
“They gonna feel comfortable now with this type of person in jail. Now he is in the right place — jail. He has to be in the inferno.”
Cortes’ niece, Daisy Gomez, added to The Post, “I believe [Bui] should have never been let out in the first place.
Lee Zeldin, with running mate Alison Esposito, speak during a news conference at the scene of the attack on Friday.James Keivom
“We want him behind bars and to do time – not like five years, more than that.”
Hochul’s GOP gubernatorial challenger in the November election, US Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Long Island), called Hochul’s effort to get Bui behind bars “less than the acceptable minimum.
“I actually don’t know of a single governor in the entire union, across the country, who in this case wouldn’t at the bare minimum see a clear-as-day parole violation,” he said during a news conference at the scene of the attack. “What we need to see is calling the legislature back into session for a special session to deal with cashless bail.”
The suspect was previously convicted of first-degree sexual abuse for an armed attack on a 17-year-old girl in The Bronx in 1994, according to the state sex-offender registry.
Bui, a Vietnamese refugee, was sentenced to six years to life in prison and repeatedly denied parole before being released to immigration authorities in January 2015, according to a DOCCS spokesperson.