Suspect in violent robbery of Vietnamese woman in Houston goes after victim’s GoFundMe
The teenage suspect charged with the violent robbery of a 44-year-old mother who was paralyzed after being knocked to the ground during a robbery, made phone calls from jail where he lashed out in anger at the success from the victim’s GoFundMe. page.
Joseph Harrell was reportedly filmed as he slammed Nhung Truong onto the concrete as he attempted to steal a wad of cash from her, leaving her with serious bodily injuries from which she may never recover.
Truong had just withdrawn $4,300 from an ATM to help pay for what was to be an upcoming trip back to his native Vietnam.
It is now alleged that Harrell has since made a series of phone calls from jail where he angrily decried how Truong managed to raise nearly $320,000 to help cover the significant medical costs of his recovery and rehabilitation .
“The lady probably wants justice and even more ****. They’ll try to get me through 20 years at the most. This *****. I am not going. The ***** has already racked up $230,000 on GoFundMe. ***** better get on with his life,” he railed.
The teenage suspect accused of the violent robbery of a 44-year-old mother who was paralyzed from her injuries made phone calls from prison where he lashed out in anger at the success of the GoFundMe page of the victim.
Joseph Harrell, 17, and Zy’Nika Ayesha Woods, 19, were charged after Nhung Truong, 44, was attacked after taking $4,300 from an ATM
Family members are seen gathered around Nhung Truong, 44, who was thrown to the ground causing a spinal injury that left her paralyzed
‘Like, ***** you ran $230,000. Look. They say she’s racked up $230,000 and will be back in no less than a year,’ he reportedly said, according to audio of the phone call heard by ABC13.
“We were snatching purses. I jumped up, snatched the purse, the lady ran with the money, I grabbed her, slammed her and she was paralyzed.
Harrell’s bail was originally set at $200,000, but was lowered to $100,000 for the robbery charge.
He was also charged in a separate theft case just over a week later. Bail for this case was also lowered from $40,000 to $30,000.
“I worry about the public,” said Douglas Griffith, president of the Houston Police Officers Union.
“If this kid gets out of jail, he’s going to victimize more people. He doesn’t care about anyone but himself, and having the judge drop his bond baffles me. I can not understand. This kid is a danger to others and the community and needs to be locked up.
Although Harrell was the only person caught on CCTV, an accomplice, Zy’Nika Woods, 19, is also charged with the theft.
Harrell reportedly followed Truong for more than 23 miles after withdrawing cash from an ATM on February 13.
Houston police described the incident as a “tried” attack, in which thieves target victims who recently used an ATM.
The family said the thieves got away with about $4,300. They said Truong saved money to visit family in Vietnam
In the video, the thief could be seen snatching an envelope that police believed was Truong’s money from his scattered belongings. He started running away but then turned around after realizing he had picked up the wrong envelope. He then knocked Truong to the ground and fled with the money.
At a press conference last week, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said, “This type of violence will not be tolerated in our city. It is simply insane.
“I just spoke to Ms. Truong … and I assured her, and I want the city of Houston to support us. These are very serious injuries. Recovery is very long. And I want her to know the love from our agency but also from our great citizens in this city.
Woods was arrested for a traffic violation, then confessed to the theft to detectives. She also implicated Harrell, Detective Tyrus Fontenot said.
The single mother of three, aged 13, 15 and 20, who is now relying on them for help, said: ‘I feel very awful and sad at the same time’
Truong was left paralyzed following a horrific spinal injury. We don’t know if she will ever fully recover.
More than a month has passed since the attack and Truong is in rehab, holding out hope that she will be able to walk again. She said she just wanted people to know what can happen
“It’s not a big waste of money,” her daughter Linh Duong said. “The big loss is his leg.”
The single mother of three, aged 13, 15 and 20, is now relying on them for help.
“I feel very awful and sad at the same time,” Truong said. “They don’t know when my leg will be able to walk again.
“I just need to train, try to walk and stuff,” Truong explained. “I’m very sad that this happened to me and I just want people to know to be careful.”
Her children said they were worried about how their family would cope.
“I can still go to school, but my mind is just messed up thinking about her, worried that no one will pay attention to her,” said An Duong, Truong’s son.
Her other daughter, Van Duong, said doctors told them there was only a 50% chance Truong would make a full recovery.
A GoFundMe page for Truong’s medical bills has now raised a total of $320,000.