Racist attacker who stomped on Asian woman in Times Square jailed for 15 years

Racist attacker who stomped on Asian woman in Times Square jailed for 15 years

A 43-year-old man who “viciously” and repeatedly assaulted a woman of Filipino descent in Times Square in New York, in 2021, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Wednesday.

Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg said Brandon Elliot had been sentenced to 15 years in state prison for assaulting Vilma Kari on a Midtown sidewalk in 2021.

Last year in December Elliot pleaded guilty in a New York State Supreme Court to one count each of assault in the first degree as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, the statement from Mr Bragg revealed.

“Brandon Elliot assaulted a 65-year-old woman because of her Filipino descent,” Mr Bragg said.

“This attack has left lasting fear and anxiety for the victim and many in the AAPI [Asian American Pacific Islander] community. I hope the closure of this case will allow the victim to continue healing and moving forward, while also sending a strong message that we will seek full accountability for anyone who commits violence against their fellow New Yorkers because of their race or ethnicity.”

On 29 March 2021, at about 11.40 in the morning, Elliot approached the then 65-year-old woman on the sidewalk of West 43rd Street between 8th and 9th Avenues and yelled at Ms Kari: “F*** you, you don’t belong here.”

Ms Kari was on her way to a church.

He then proceeded to kick her in the torso, knocking her to the ground and then continued to kick and stomp on her head and body. When a man intervened to help, Elliot threatened the man with a knife before fleeing the scene.

Ms Kari was taken to a hospital, where she was diagnosed with a fractured pelvis, forehead contusions, and contusions across her body.

Elliot was arrested two days later.

Ms Kari wrote to NBC News in an email then: “I feel that there is now more awareness and consciousness that has developed after my attack. But there needs to be more support and education about what the AAPI community is facing at this moment, especially since there are cases that have not been reported and classified as hate crimes.”

In her witness testimony, Ms Kari said: “Some of us are survivors who live to see the next day.

“While I did not physically die that day, a portion of me did. A portion of me that made me think I could come to America 40 years ago and be accepted for who I am. I was wrong.”

A video that captured the attack was widely shared on social media, leading to outrage and anger from the Asian American community against anti-Asian attacks.

According to NBC News, Elliot’s attorney, Jamie Niskanen-Singer, said that his client had “expressed remorse” for what Ms Kari had gone through.

CBS News reported that Elliot apologised to Ms Kari shortly after her witness testimony.

“Mr Elliot has long suffered from serious and well-documented mental health diagnoses, which was a contributing factor but by no means a blanket excuse,” Mr Niskanen-Singer said in the statement.

“He has accepted responsibility for his actions and sought to spare Ms Kari of having to relive the ordeal at a trial.”

According to the police, the attack by Elliot occurred when he was out on lifetime parole after he was found guilty of killing his mother in 2002.

This article was amended on 26 February 2024. An earlier version incorrectly stated that Elliot had been sentenced by Alvin Bragg, but Mr Bragg is the district attorney and not a judge.