The teenage suspect charged in the violent robbery on a 44-year-old mother who was left paralyzed after being body slammed to the ground during a robbery, has made phone calls from jail where he lashed out in anger over the success of the victim’s GoFundMe page.
Joseph Harrell was allegedly caught on camera as he body-slammed Nhung Truong onto the concrete as tried to steal a wad of cash from her, leaving her with serious bodily injuries from which she may never recover.
Truong had just taken $4,300 from a cash machine to help pay for what was going to be an upcoming trip back to her native Vietnam.
It’s now alleged how Harrell has since made a series of phonecalls from jail where he angrily decried how Truong had managed to raise close to $320,000 to help with the extensive medical costs of her recovery and rehabilitation.
‘The lady probably wants justice and some more ****. They’ll try to max me out 20 years basically. That *****. I ain’t going for it. The ***** already ran up $230,000 off GoFundMe. ***** better run on with her life,’ he railed.
The teenage suspect charged in the violent robbery on a 44-year-old mother who was left paralyzed as a result of her injures has 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 body-slammed to the ground causing a spinal injury that left her paralyzed
‘Like, ***** you done run up $230,000. Look. They say she ran up $230,000 and she’ll be back walking in no less than a year,’ he is alleged to have said, according audio of the phonecall heard by ABC13.
‘We were snatching purses. I hopped out, snatched the purse, the lady ran with the money, I grabbed her, slammed her and she was paralyzed.’
Harrell’s bond had initially been set at $200,000 but it was lowered to $100,000 for the robbery charge.
He was also charged in a separate robbery case just over a week later. The bond for that case was also lowered from $40,000 to $30,000.
‘My concern is for the public,’ said Douglas Griffith, President of Houston Police Officers Union.
‘If this kid gets out of jail, he is going to victimize more individuals. He does not care about anyone but himself, and for the judge to lower his bond baffles my mind. I can’t wrap my head around it. This kid is a danger to others and the community and needs to be locked up.’
Although Harrell was the only person to be caught on surveillance video, a female accomplice, Zy’Nika Woods, 19, is also charged in 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 ‘jugging’ attack, whereby thieves target victims who’ve recently used a cash machine.
The family said the robbers made off with about $4,300. They said Truong had been saving up the money to visit her family in Vietnam
In the video, the thief could be seen snatching an envelope that police believe he thought was Truong’s cash from her scattered belongings. He began to flee but then turned around having realized he had picked up the wrong enveloped. He then body slammed 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 just senseless.
‘I just spoke to Ms. Truong… and 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 our great citizens in this city.’
Woods was arrested for a traffic violation then confessed to detectives about the robbery. She also implicated Harrell, Detective Tyrus Fontenot said.
The single mother of three children, who are 13, 15, and 20, who now relies on them for help, said: ‘I’m feeling very horrible and sad at the same time’
Truong has been left paralyzed following a horrific spinal injury. It is not known if she will ever fully recover
More than a month has passed since the attack and Truong is in rehab, holding onto hope that she’ll be able to walk again. She said she just wants people to be aware of what can happen
‘It’s not a big loss of the money,’ her daughter Linh Duong said. ‘The big loss is her leg.’
The single mother of three children, aged 13, 15, and 20, now relies on them for help.
‘I’m feeling very horrible and sad at the same time,’ Truong said. ‘They don’t know when my leg can walk again.
‘I just need to practice, try to walk and stuff,’ Truong explained. ‘I’m very sad that this happened to me and I just want to let people know to be careful.’
Her children said they are worried about how their family will get by.
‘I can still go to school, but my mind is just messed up thinking about her, worrying that nobody is going to watch out for her,’ An Duong, Truong’s son, said.
Her other daughter Van Duong said they were told by the doctors that there’s only a 50 percent chance Truong will ever fully recover.
A GoFundMe page for Truong’s medical bills has now raised a total of $320,000.