Murder parolee arrested in videotaped attack on Asian American woman in NYC

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Suspect Brandon Elliot was on parole for murder of mother

HELL’S KITCHEN, N.Y. (WPIX) — Police overnight arrested a man accused of punching and kicking an Asian woman to the ground outside a Midtown Manhattan building Monday, an attack that was caught on camera, according to the NYPD.

Police arrested Brandon Elliot, 38, just after 1 a.m. Wednesday in connection with the assault that’s been in the headlines all week, authorities said.

Elliot, who lives just blocks from where the attack happened, is expected to face multiple charges, including assault as a hate crime and attempted assault as a hate crime, police said.

State records show Elliot has several past arrests, including in 2002 for stabbing his own mother to death in her Bronx home when he was only 19 years old.

He was sentenced at the time to 15 years to life in prison for the murder, however he received parole in November 2019, records show.

The incident occurred shortly before noon in Midtown Manhattan, just blocks from Times Square, according to police.

Authorities said the 65-year-old woman was on her way to church when she was approached by the suspect, who suddenly punched and kicked her, causing her to fall to the ground.

The suspect continued to kick her multiple times as she laid on the sidewalk, officials said. Law enforcement sources said he told the victim “you don’t belong here,” before fleeing the scene.

Police said the woman, whose name has not been made public, suffered a pelvis injury and contusions to the head.

According to a hospital spokesperson, she was discharged from the hospital Tuesday after being treated.

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.

Two workers inside the building have come under scrutiny after being 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 management company who owns the building on Tuesday said that the door staff had been suspended pending an investigation, while the union representing the employees maintains they called for help immediately.

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. 

Mayoral candidate Andrew Yang, the son of Taiwanese immigrants, said the victim “could easily have been my mother.” He, too, criticized the bystanders, saying their inaction was “exactly the opposite of what we need here in New York City.”

This year in New York City, there have been 33 hate crimes with an Asian victim as of Sunday, police said. There were 11 such attacks by the same time last year.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced last week that the department would increase outreach and patrols in predominantly Asian communities, including the use of undercover officers to prevent and disrupt attacks.

According to a report from Stop AAPI Hate, more than 3,795 incidents were reported to the organization from March 19, 2020, to Feb. 28. The group, which tracks incidents of discrimination, hate and xenophobia against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S., said that number is “only a fraction of the number of hate incidents that actually occur.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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