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New York City Police have arrested a suspect in the vicious attack on a 65-year-old Asian woman near Times Square this week, and the man has a disturbing past.
Brandon Elliot, 38, had been out on parole for killing his own mother in 2002 when he was allegedly captured on a security camera footage ferociously punching and kicking an elderly victim in front of an apartment building at 360 West 43rd Street Monday, The New York Post reports.
Elliot was arrested and taken into custody just after 1 a.m. Wednesday and charged with attempted assault as a hate crime, two counts of assault as a hate crime, assault and attempted assault for the attack that sent the woman to a local hospital with a broken pelvis, according to a statement to Oxygen.com from the New York City Police Department.
Elliot—who had been living at a local hotel serving as a homeless shelter at the time of the attack—has two prior arrests: one for robbery in 2000 and another for murder of his mother, Bridget Johnson, in 2002.
Nearly two decades ago, Elliot stabbed his 42-year-old mother in the chest three times with a kitchen knife in their Bronx home, The Post reports. She died several days later at a local hospital.
It’s not known what motivated the deadly attack.
Elliot had been paroled in 2019 after serving 17 years behind bars, NY1 reports.
Police said he attacked the 65-year-old woman Monday around 11:40 a.m., seemingly unprovoked.
A man can be seen punching, kicking and knocking the woman to the ground as he yelled “F—k you, you don’t belong here.” He also stomped on the woman’s face repeatedly.
The victim, who was reportedly on her way to church in Midtown Manhattan when she was assaulted, was taken to NYU Langone Hospital and was treated for a broken pelvis and contusions on her head before later being released.
In an interview with NY1 Police Commissioner Dermot Shea called the attack “disgusting.”
“I don’t know who attacks a 65-year-old woman and leaves her on the street like that,” he said.
According to the NYPD Asian Hate Crime Task Force, a security guard can be seen in the footage, failing to come to the woman’s aid as the attack unfolded in full view of the building's lobby; he can be seen closing the front door of the apartment complex instead, WABC reports.
“This is a heinous attack on a 65 year old Asian lady that occurred this morning in front of 360 west 43rd street. The cold hearted building security guard not only failed to render aid, he closed the door on the victim,” the task force said in a tweet, which apparently has since been deleted.
The security guard has reportedly been suspended pending an investigation into the incident.
“Closed their door on a woman lying on the sidewalk, isn’t that the perfect symbolism of exactly what is happening right now?” Jo-Ann Yoo, of the Asian American Foundation, told WABC.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio also criticized the security guard’s actions, calling his failure to intervene “absolutely unacceptable.”
“I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what you do, you got to help your fellow New Yorker,” he said.
However, Kyle Bragg, the president of the Employees International Union Local 32BJ, said in a statement to the news outlet that the security guard had “called for help immediately.”
“Our union is working to get further details for a more complete account, and urge the public to avoid a rush to judgment while the facts are determined,” Bragg said, adding the union “unequivocally condemn all acts of hate against the AAPI community.”
New York City has already seen a rise in the number of hate crime directed at Asian Americans. In just the first three months of 2021, the NYPD reported 33 hate crime-related attacks against Asian Americans compared with 29 attacks in 2020 in its entirety, according to WABC.
The data appears to mirror what has been seen across the country in recent months as more Asian Americans have been the targets of hate and racism.
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