NYC Man Sentenced for 2021 Anti-Asian Attack

Older woman, an immigrant, was brutally attacked in Times Square
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2021 6:34 AM CDT
Updated Feb 22, 2024 3:00 AM CST
UPDATE Feb 22, 2024 3:00 AM CST

The New York man who brutally attacked an Asian-American woman in New York's Times Square in 2021 was on Wednesday sentenced to 15 years behind bars. Brandon Elliot, 41, pleaded guilty to one count of assault in the first degree as a hate crime and one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, NBC News reports. The woman he attacked, Vilma Kari, now 65, gave emotional testimony at his sentencing hearing, telling Elliot he stole her peace, CBS News reports. Elliot apologized to her after she testified. "Mr. Elliot has long suffered from serious and well-documented mental health diagnoses, which was a contributing factor but by no means a blanket excuse," his attorney says in a statement. "He has accepted responsibility for his actions and sought to spare Ms. Kari of having to relive the ordeal at a trial."

Mar 31, 2021 6:34 AM CDT

An arrest has been made in the heinous attack on an older Asian-American woman in New York City, the latest amid an increasing wave of violence against Asian Americans. A surveillance video that circulated earlier this week showed the Monday assault on the 65-year-old, who was walking along West 43rd Street in Manhattan when a man knocked her down, kicked her in the stomach, and yelled, "F--- you, you don't belong here" while stomping on her face multiple times before strolling away, per police. To make matters worse, the video appears to show a person inside the lobby of a luxury condo building watched the attack without intervening, and that security guards shut the lobby's door after the attacker walked away, leaving the injured victim on the sidewalk. The NYPD says in a statement to the Washington Post that they now have their man: Brandon Elliott, 38, arrested early Wednesday and hit with assault and hate crime charges.

Elliott, identified by residents as a local homeless man, has been in trouble with the law before: He was convicted nearly 20 years ago for stabbing his mother in the heart, killing her, and he's now on lifetime parole after serving 17 years in prison, report NBC New York and WABC. Meanwhile, the Brodsky Organization, which manages the condo building, said in an Instagram post that the staffers who seemingly did nothing to help during Monday's attack have been suspended during a probe, and that it's trying to identify a "third-party delivery vendor" who was there. The workers' union says they immediately called for help. "You've got to help your fellow New Yorker," Mayor Bill de Blasio says, calling it "absolutely unacceptable" no one assisted the woman, per NBC. The victim, who'd been walking to church when she was assaulted, was taken to a hospital after sustaining a "serious physical injury," per the NYPD; a hospital spokesperson says the woman has since been released. (More Asian-Americans stories.)

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