A convicted murderer who served 17 years in prison for killing his mother has been arrested in connection with a brutal attack on a 65-year-old Asian-American woman on Monday near New York City’s Times Square.
Brandon Elliot, 38, was charged with assault and hate crime offenses, according to WNBC-TV.
In an attack captured on surveillance video, Elliot kicked the woman repeatedly in the face after knocking her to the ground by kicking her in the stomach as they passed on the street. Amid profanity and anti-Asian slurs he reportedly told her, “You don’t belong here.”
The woman, identified as Vilma Kari, was discharged from a hospital Tuesday after being treated for severe injuries.
Thanks to assistance from the public and excellent investigative work by @NYPDHateCrimes Detectives, the individual wanted for Monday’s assault of a 65 year-old Asian female, at 360 West 43rd St, was arrested and charged with Felony Assault as a Hate Crime. pic.twitter.com/ZQRVGZEAb2
— NYPD Hate Crimes (@NYPDHateCrimes) March 31, 2021
Elliot reportedly lives in a nearby hotel that also serves as a homeless shelter.
In April 2002, Elliot was charged with stabbing his mother to death with a kitchen knife in front of his 5-year-old sister, according to the New York Post. He was sentenced to serve 15 years to life in prison and then was put on lifetime parole after his November 2019 release.
Detectives’ Endowment Association president Paul DiGiacomo said bad policies once again led to tragedy.
“When New York politicians and their parole board think it’s a good idea to release a murderer who killed his mother — they certainly can’t pretend to be surprised he brutally attacked a woman in Midtown,” he said.
“It’s about time the City Council, State Assembly, and Governor be held accountable for their irresponsible laws and decisions. New Yorkers are clearly not safe because of them. They need to fix what they broke.”
The president of the Lieutenants Benevolent Association, Lou Turco, also said so-called policy reforms make the streets less safe.
“You can’t make it up. Do we need any more proof that the failed policies of our elected officials are leading to more New Yorkers being injured and killed? When are we going to hold our elected leaders accountable? Reimagine elected officials.”
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea called the attack “very disturbing.”
“It’s really disgusting when you see the video,” Shea said, according to the New York Daily News. “We’re trying to make any sense of it and can’t. I don’t know who attacks a 65-year-old woman and leaves her on the street like that.”
Video of the attack shows a doorman at 360 W. 43rd St. closing the door after seeing the beaten woman lying in front of the building.
?WANTED for ASSAULT: Do you know this guy? On 3/29/21 at approx 11:40 AM, in front of 360 W 43 St in Manhattan, the suspect punched and kicked a 65-year-old woman while making anti-Asian statements. Any info? DM @NYPDTips or anonymously call them at 800-577-TIPS. pic.twitter.com/WRE4kSHtRG
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) March 30, 2021
“The cold hearted building security guard not only failed to render aid, he closed the door on the victim,” the NYPD Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Task Force reportedly wrote in a since-deleted tweet.
On Tuesday morning, the Brodsky Organization, which runs the building in question, said workers who saw the attack and did nothing “have been suspended pending an investigation in conjunction with their union.”
“The Brodsky Organization is also working to identify a third-party delivery vendor present during the incident so that appropriate action can be taken,” the company said. “The Brodsky Organization condemns all forms of discrimination, racism, xenophobia and violence against the Asian American community.”
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