Two Manhattan doormen caught on video doing nothing while a 65-year-old Asian American woman was brutally attacked on her way to church have been fired, their building's management company said Tuesday.
A man out on lifetime parole for murdering his own mother is now in custody for the brutal March 29 attack.
The assault happened outside an apartment building two blocks from Times Square, a bustling, heavily policed section of midtown Manhattan known as the “Crossroads of the World.”
Two workers inside the building were seen on surveillance video witnessing the attack but failing to come to the woman’s aid. One of them was seen closing the building door as the woman was on the ground. The attacker was able to casually walk away while onlookers watched, the video showed.
The building’s management company initially said they were suspended pending an investigation; their union said they called for help immediately.
"While the full lobby video shows that once the assailant had departed, the doormen emerged to assist the victim and flag down an NYPD vehicle, it is clear that required emergency and safety protocols were not followed," The Brodsky Organization said in its statement Tuesday. "For this reason, their employment has been terminated, effective immediately."
The union that represents the two doormen issued a statement on Tuesday as well, saying that the two have not been accurately depicted. The union also said a longer version of the building's camera footage shows the pair did assist the victim of the attack and flagged down police.
Cops charged 38-year-old Brandon Elliot with assault and hate crime offenses. They had offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to the whereabouts of the man seen on surveillance video Monday brutalizing the woman as she walked to church.
Elliot was released from prison in 2019 after serving time for murdering his mother 17 years prior, according to an NYPD spokesperson.
"The individual we have arrested in this case, 38-year-old Brandon Elliot is charged with a completely unprovoked violent attack on an innocent defenseless woman," NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a press conference last week, adding that the NYPD "will never accept or tolerate hate or violence of any kind in our great city. It goes against every fiber of who we are."
Monday's attacks sent shockwaves across the nation, as many admonished the bystanders for doing nothing to stop Elliot as police say he kicked the woman in the stomach, knocked her to the ground, stomped on her face, shouted anti-Asian slurs and told her, “you don’t belong here.”
In a statement, lawyers for Elliot said they "strongly urge the public to reserve judgment until all the facts are presented in court."
The woman, who was identified by police sources as Vilma Kari, was discharged from the hospital after being treated for serious injuries, a hospital spokesperson said.
The attack Monday was among the latest in a national spike in anti-Asian hate crimes, and happened just weeks after a mass shooting in Atlanta that left eight people dead, six of them women of Asian descent. The surge in violence has been linked in part to misplaced blame for the coronavirus and former President Donald Trump’s use of racially charged terms like “Chinese virus.”
Currently, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office has more than a dozen anti-Asian hate crime cases open this year alone.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called Monday’s attack “absolutely disgusting and outrageous.” He said it was “absolutely unacceptable” that witnesses did not intervene.
“I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what you do, you’ve got to help your fellow New Yorker,” de Blasio said, evoking the post-9/11 mantra of “see something, say something.”