The doormen of a luxury Manhattan apartment building who had been accused of passively watching an attack on a 65-year-old Filipina woman have been fired from their jobs.
On Tuesday, the Brodsky Organization, which owns and manages the residence, released a statement after completing an investigation into the incident in which Brandon Elliot, 38, was seen on video punching, stomping, and making anti-Asian remarks against Vilma Kari, who was on her way to church.
"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," they said about the two lobby staff members.
"For this reason, their employment has been terminated, effective immediately."
"We are extremely distraught and shocked by this incident, and our hearts go out to the victim. We have been working with the AAPI civic community to reach her family, as well as to determine how best to support the fight against anti-Asian hate crimes," they concluded.
In the first video of the attack, one employee was seen closing the door as Elliot walked away and Kari lay injured on the sidewalk.
Citing a longer video which they obtained, The New York Times says the doormen “most likely did not witness the attack on Ms. Kari firsthand but were alerted to it by a delivery person who was in the lobby.”
About a minute after one of the employees closed the door, both of them left the building and appeared to help Kari.
Officials say Kari sustained a serious physical injury and was transported to NYU Langone Hospital.
Kyle Bragg — the president of 32BJ SEIU, the union that represents the staff members — said in a statement that the employees did help Kari after she was attacked.
Bragg says both staffers are in the process of challenging their firings.
Last month, Elliot, who was out on parole for fatally stabbing his mother in 2002, was arrested and charged with two counts of assault in the second degree as a hate crime, and one count of attempted assault in the first degree as a hate crime.
“Mr. Elliot is accused of brutally shoving, kicking, and stomping a 65-year-old mother to the ground after telling her that she didn’t belong here,” Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. said in a statement. “Let me be clear: this brave woman belongs here. Asian-American New Yorkers belong here. Everyone belongs here. Attacks against Asian-American New Yorkers are attacks against all New Yorkers, and my Office will continue to stand against hate in all its forms.
Per reports, Elliot was freed from prison in November 2019 and lived in a hotel that has been serving as a homeless shelter during the pandemic.