Houston police arrested a teenager who robbed a mom-of-3 and body-slammed her, causing paralysis from the waist down.
The incident happened around 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 13, after Nhung Truong withdrew $4,300 from a bank for an upcoming trip.
Detective Tyrus Fontenot, of HPD’s Robbery Division, said Joseph Harrell, 17, and Zy’Nika Woods, 19, followed Truong in their car for more than 20 miles after she left the bank.
Fontenot said Harrell exited the vehicle and assaulted Truong, robbing her of a purse and wallet. Police said Harrell returned to assault the victim again when he realized he got the wrong envelope containing the $4,300 cash she was carrying.
“Our male suspect here exited the vehicle driven by Miss Woods here and assaulted the victim first by trying to take her purse and her wallet,” Fontenot said at a news conference on Friday. “Eventually, after learning he didn’t have the money she withdrew from the bank, he went back and assaulted her again by picking her up and slamming her down onto the concrete.”
Truong was left unconscious on the sidewalk. She suffered cracked ribs and a fractured spine, paralyzing her from the waist down.
The brutal attack was caught on a nearby surveillance camera.
“When I saw it, it just made me mad as hell,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said at the news conference on Friday. “Slammed her down like she was a bag of potatoes.”
The surveillance camera also caught the license plate on Woods’s car. Woods was arrested and she quickly confessed, implicating Harrell.
Harrell was picked up by HPD officers and he also confessed to the senseless crime.
According to ABC13 News, court records show that Harrell was charged with aggravated assault for robbing a woman of her purse 12 days after he assaulted Truong.
Harrell’s bond was set at $200,000 and Woods’s bond is set at $50,000.
A GoFundMe created to pay Truong’s medical expenses has raised over $250,000.
Truong later told ABC13 she lives in fear of the suspects returning to harm her family.
“I’m feeling really scared that they are coming after us because of what happened. I need everyone’s help to get them the punishment they deserve,” Truong said.
Truong relies on her family to help care for her. She’s grateful to be alive.
“I’m happy that I can live with my family again, but it’s pretty inconvenient that I can’t walk,” Truong said.
Watch the video below.