Restaurant assault nets guilty plea

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A man in the country illegally pleadedguilty Monday to stabbing two of his co-workers at a BrookhavenChinese restaurant last summer.

    Zhao Ru Hui pleaded guilty on two counts of aggravated assault,stemming from an incident that occurred July 7 at the Bo Bo Buffetin Brookhaven.

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    Judge David Strong sentenced Zhao to serve two concurrent 15-yearterms, with the last 10 years suspended for five years ofpost-release supervision.

    However, Zhao may not be in the country post-release. U.S.Immigration and Customs Enforcement has a hold on Zhao, a Chinesenational, and he is due to be deported after he serves his prisontime, said District Attorney Dee Bates.

    “Based on our information, he is illegal,” Bates said. “He is nothere on a visa.”

    In interviews, Zhao told authorities he came to the country in 1991and spent most of the time between then and now in New York, onlyrecently coming to Brookhaven, Bates said.

    Zhao was staying in Brookhaven with the owners of the Bo Bo Buffet,Bates said.

    Zhao communicated to the court Monday through a translator, as hespeaks little or no English.

    In a written statement read by the translator before sentencing,Zhao said, “I am sorry; I am guilty.”

    Strong also ordered Zhao to pay restitution for medical billsincurred by the victims of the stabbing attack.

    In that attack, Sheng Yang and Franscisco Velasco Zarate wereinjured. Both the victims and Zhao were Bo Bo employees at the timeof the attack.

    Zarate was transported to King’s Daughters Medical Center and Shengwas airlifted to University of Mississippi Medical Center inJackson.

    The total amount of restitution is not known yet, pending thetabulation of Sheng’s medical bills but the amount currently knowncomes to approximately $32,000, according to court records.