The teenage suspect accused of the violent robbery of a 44-year-old mother who was left paralyzed as a result of her injuries made phone calls from jail where he lashed out in anger at the victim’s success. GoFundMe page.
Joseph Harrell was allegedly caught on camera slamming Nhung Truong to the ground while trying to steal a wad of cash from her, leaving her with serious bodily injury.
Truong had just withdrawn $4,300 from an ATM to help pay for an upcoming trip to his native Vietnam.
It is now alleged how Harrell made a series of phone calls from jail where he angrily condemned how Truong managed to raise close to $320,000 to help with the extensive medical costs of his recovery and rehabilitation.
‘The lady probably wants justice and some more bullshit. Basically, she will try to get a maximum of 20 years out of me. That *****. I’m not going for that. The ***** already got $230,000 off on GoFundMe. ***** I’d better get on with her life,’ she snapped.
The teenage suspect accused of the violent robbery of a 44-year-old mother who was left paralyzed as a result of her injuries made phone calls from jail where he lashed out in anger over the success of the victim’s GoFundMe page.
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 slammed to the ground causing a spinal injury that left her paralyzed.
‘Like, fuck, you’ve amassed $230,000. Look. They say he amassed $230,000 and he’ll be walking again in no less than a year,’ she allegedly said, according to audio of the phone call he heard. ABC13.
We were pickpocketing. I jumped up, snatched her bag from her, the lady ran with the money, grabbed her, hit her and she was paralyzed.
Harrell’s bail was initially 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 that case was also reduced from $40,000 to $30,000.
“My concern is for the public,” said Douglas Griffith, president of the Houston Police Officers Union.
‘If this child is released from prison, he will victimize more people. He doesn’t care about anyone but himself, and the judge lowering his bail baffles me. I can’t wrap my head around it. This boy is a danger to others and to the community and he needs to be locked up.’
Although Harrell was the only person caught on surveillance video, an accomplice, 19-year-old Zy’Nika Woods, is also charged with the robbery.
Harrell is alleged to have followed Truong for more than 23 miles after she withdrew cash from an ATM on February 13.
Houston police described the incident as a “juggling” attack, where robbers target victims who recently used an ATM.
The family said the robbers made off with about $4,300. They said Truong had been saving money to visit her family in Vietnam.
In the video, the thief can be seen stealing an envelope that police believe he thought was Truong’s cash from his scattered belongings. He started to run, but then turned around and the body slammed Truong to the ground and he 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 just doesn’t make sense.
‘I just spoke to Ms. Truong… and I assured her, and I want the city of Houston to stand behind us. These are very serious injuries. The recovery is very long. And I want her to know the love of our agency, but also of our great citizens in this city.’
Woods was arrested for a traffic violation and later confessed to detectives about the robbery. She also implicated Harrell, Detective Tyrus Fontenot said.
The single mother of three boys, ages 13, 15 and 20, who now relies on them for help, said: “I feel very bad and sad at the same time.”
Truong has been left paralyzed after a horrifying spinal injury. It is unknown if he will ever make a full recovery.
More than a month has passed since the attack and Truong is undergoing rehabilitation, hoping to be able to walk again. She said that she just wants people to know what can happen.
“It’s not a big waste of money,” said his daughter Linh Duong. The big loss is her leg.
The single mother of three children, ages 13, 15 and 20, now relies on them for help.
“I feel very horrible 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 practice, try to walk and stuff,” Truong explained. “I’m so sad this happened to me and I just want people to know to be careful.”
His children said they are worried about how their family will manage.
“I can still go to school, but my mind is messy thinking about her, worrying that no one will take care of her,” said An Duong, Truong’s son.
His other daughter, Van Duong, said doctors told them there is only a 50 percent chance Truong will make a full recovery.
A GoFundMe page for Truong’s medical bills has now raised a total of $320,000.