The suspect in a hate crime assault on a 65-year-old Asian woman in New York City was out on parole for killing his mother.
Police arrested Brandon Elliot early Wednesday for allegedly punching and kicking the woman in midtown Manhattan two days earlier while making anti-Asian statements towards her, according to multiple reports. The assault was caught on video.
Elliot, an African American man, served 17 years in state prison for fatally stabbing his mother and was released on lifetime parole in November 2019.
The NYPD has recommended charges of two counts of assault as a hate crime, attempted assault as a hate crime and other charges in connection with Monday’s attack.
The assault happened in front of an apartment complex at 360 West 43rd St., police said. Video appears to show a building worker pulling the lobby door shut and walking away while the woman lay on the ground after being attacked.
The Brodsky Organization, which owns the building, released a statement Wednesday saying the two lobby staffers who witnessed the attack had been suspended while an investigation into their response is conducted.
The company said it’s “committed to strengthening internal training and working with our community to ensure the safety of our residents and neighbors.”
“We are extremely distraught by the horrific attack that occurred outside our building, and our hearts go out to the victim,” it said. “Our company stands with the AAPI community in condemning racism and violence against Asian-Americans.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio called on New Yorkers to look out for each other following the incident.
“I don’t care who you are, what you do, you’ve got to help your fellow New Yorker,” he said. “Do whatever you can. Make noise, call out what’s happening … call 911. I mean, this is something where we all have to be part of the solution. We can’t just stand back and watch a heinous act happening.”
The attack comes as elected officials warn of a surge in anti-Asian hate crimes driven by hostility about the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in China.