The New York City sex offender who was initially accused of attempted murder for sucker-punching — and critically injuring — a stranger was allowed to walk free on Thursday after his charges were downgraded, according to a report.
Bui Van Phu, a 55-year-old homeless man, was released without bail during a Thursday court appearance, after his attempted murder charge was replaced with misdemeanor third-degree assault and second-degree harassment, according to the Daily Mail. Phu’s charges were downgraded because he "'intentionally (caused) physical injury and with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person," according to the report.
The parolee and previously convicted sex offender was reportedly placed on supervised release.
The New York Police Department captured footage of Phu’s alleged Aug. 12 assault. According to police, the victim was with a group of people in front of 163 E 188 St in the Bronx around 10:45 p.m. when the suspect attacked.
NYC sucker punch assault suspect Bui Van Phu is a convicted sex offender. (NYPD)
Video showed the man, who wore gloves, approaching the stranger from behind and sucker-punching him in the head, causing the victim to fall to the pavement. Police said the attack was unprovoked and the victim and his assailant are not believed to have known each other.
The victim suffered a broken skull, a broken cheek bone and a brain bleed, police said. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he is in critical but stable condition.
Phu reportedly has an extensive criminal history, according to multiple local reports.