The two New York City luxury apartment building doormen who were caught on video appearing to watch the attack of an Asian woman last month have been fired, according to the building’s owner.
The Brodsky Organization, which owns and manages apartment buildings all over the city, said it had completed an investigation into the response of the two doormen who were inside the building at the time of the assault.
“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,” said a statement from the Brodsky Organization. “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,” the statement said.
The organization is retraining all building staff “regarding proper emergency response protocols as well as anti-bias awareness and upstander-bystander interventions,” the statement added.
Vilma Kari, 65, who is of Filipino descent, was on her way to church on the morning of March 29 when she was attacked on West 43rd Street between 8th and 9th Avenues in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan, police said.
Police released video that showed a man kicking the victim in her stomach, causing her to fall to the ground. The man then stomped the woman’s head multiple times while making anti-Asian statements, police said.
Video appeared to show that as the assault continued, at least three people in the lobby of the apartment building stood by and watched. One of them closed the door as the assailant walked away and left the woman on the ground, the video showed.
Kari was treated at the hospital for a fractured pelvis, the District Attorney’s office said.
Brandon Elliot, 38, was 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, in connection with the attack, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. said.
Elliot was already on lifetime parole for fatally stabbing his mother in 2002, authorities said. He was freed from prison in November 2019, according to police. He lived in a hotel that has been serving as a homeless shelter during the pandemic. He was taken into custody at the hotel, police said.
The incident, one of two violent attacks captured on camera in New York City recently, was the latest in a wave of crimes against Asian Americans across the country. An analysis of police department statistics this month revealed that 16 major cities across the U.S. saw significant spikes in anti-Asian hate crimes last year.
The analysis, released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, found that while hate crimes decreased overall by 7 percent last year, those targeting Asian people rose by nearly 150 percent.
New York accounted for the largest surge from three in 2019 to 28 in 2020, an 833 percent increase.