We’re glad Gov. Kathy Hochul was shamed into ordering the arrest of Bui Van Phu on Friday, but even with three editions a day we don’t have enough front pages to highlight every outrageous, instantaneous release of a violent alleged perp thanks to the no-bail law and other criminal-justice “reforms” that she now fully owns.
Yes, it was insane of Bronx DA Darcel Clark’s office to reduce the charges against the convicted sex offender and alleged sucker-puncher who put an innocent man in a coma this week, which led the judge to grant the perp supervised release Thursday.
Thanks to Hochul’s action, now he won’t be able to notch up another assault before trial. But this is just one high-profile case, with New Yorkers lucky that the gov is desperate to shore up her crime cred before the November election. The real issue is that such releases are now typical, all across the state.
And, just for one example, Hochul has no similar way to intervene in all the violent under-18s let loose (with juice and cookies!) under the Raise the Age law.
Consider: Despite video evidence damning Phu, his reported confession to a parole officer and the violent and unprovoked nature of the crime, the DA’s office still lowered the charges from attempted murder to assault and harassment.
That might be defensible — if prosecutors had found a lesser charge that was still bail-eligible, rather than two misdemeanors that aren’t under the disastrous “reforms” that Hochul pretends she’s already fixed.
She insists the remaining issue is only that judges are “confused” about the laws; not in this case, gov, nor in all too many others. Anyway, why not pass a law making it unmistakable that prosecutors and courts should aim to lock up clearly dangerous perps?
Instead, Phu — already on parole after serving time for sex abuse — was let out to walk the streets. This, when major crimes in New York City through Sunday are up 36.1% compared to last year and other cities have it even worse. The inability of judges to even consider dangerousness when it comes to remanding suspects has created a perpetual, vicious cycle of violent perps getting nabbed and let out to do more mayhem.
Who’s to blame? Ultimately the same state leader who snatched up Phu in embarrassment: Kathy Hochul. Instead to going to the mat with the Legislature to fix those disastrous reforms, she signed off with much fanfare on empty tweaks. And though she has the power to boot un-prosecutors like Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, she won’t.
That leaves New Yorkers on their own, to defend themselves. Queens lawyer James Galleshaw vanquished the psycho (with a possible July bust for disorderly conduct on his rap sheet) who attacked him. But civilians shouldn’t have to fight like vigilantes to feel safe. And it’s too late for Jesus Cortes, Phu’s alleged victim, in his hospital bed.
Hochul’s overall cowardice on the issue makes the clearest case why New Yorkers should vote for her GOP opponent Lee Zeldin in November.