Houston Chinatown robbery: Joseph Harrell and Zy’Nika Woods charged in Nhung Truong’s violent beating, police say

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Two people who are not old enough to legally purchase alcohol confessed to investigators that they were involved in a violent robbery in Chinatown last month that left a woman with serious injuries, according to Houston police.

Joseph Harrell (17) and Zy’Nika Woods (19) have been charged with aggravated robbery and were taken into custody.

The. Tyrus Fontenot, who works in HPD’s robbery division, said the victim, Nhung Truong, went to a bank in the 9800 block of Blackhawk Boulevard at about 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 13. She withdrew a large sum of cash for an upcoming trip. .

Truong traveled 15 miles to Chinatown and was followed by Harrell and Woods, according to Fontenot.

“Our male suspect here got out of the vehicle that was driven by Miss Woods here and attacked the victim first by trying to take her purse and her wallet,” Fontenot said. “Finally, after learning he didn’t have the money she took out of the bank, he went back and attacked her again by picking her up and slamming her onto the concrete.”

Truong was left unconscious on the sidewalk as Harrell fled in the getaway car. She suffered cracked ribs and a broken spine, according to the charging documents.

The assault was captured on a nearby surveillance camera.

SEE ORIGINAL REPORT: Woman stalked, robbed in Chinatown after making large cash withdrawals from miles away: HPD

“When I saw it, it just drove me crazy,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a news conference announcing the arrests Friday. “Slapped her down like she was a bag of potatoes.”

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Fontenot said surveillance video captured the license plate on Woods’ car.

Woods confessed and implicated Harrell as the other person involved, according to the detective. He said Harrell was later taken into custody and also confessed.

Court records show Harrell was charged with aggravated assault for an incident that occurred 12 days after the violent robbery of Truong.

Harrell is accused of robbing a woman of her purse on February 25. The woman tracked the Airpods in her purse to a home in the South Acres neighborhood and told detectives she drove past the home. She reported seeing the man, later identified as Harrell, who robbed her, standing in the driveway.

She told detectives she and her husband parked their car a few blocks away and called police. While waiting for officers to arrive, charging documents say Harrell approached the victim’s car and asked if they needed anything. The woman’s husband said they did not, and Harrell continued past their vehicle. According to charging documents, he turned and pointed a gun at the woman.

Fontenot said Harrell also has a criminal record in juvenile court. He is reportedly enrolled in high school and has lived in Houston his entire life, according to documents.

Harold’s bond was set at $200,000 and Wood’s bond was set at $50,000.

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