Two New York City apartment building doormen have been fired for failing to help an Asian American woman as she was brutally attacked on the sidewalk outside, according to the building’s owner.
The doormen were caught on video appearing to watch the March attack of Vilma Kari, who according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office is of Filipino descent, before flagging down a police vehicle after the assailant had left.
The Brodsky Organization, which owns apartment buildings across the city, said it completed an investigation into the response of the doormen.
“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,” according to a statement from the Brodsky Organization.
The organization is retraining all building staff on “proper emergency response protocols as well as anti-bias awareness and upstander-bystander interventions,” according to the statement.
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“We are extremely distraught and shocked by this incident, and our hearts go out to the victim,” the statement said. “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 38-year-old suspect hurled anti-Asian sentiments and assaulted Kari, 65, on March 29 outside the midtown Manhattan luxury apartment building, the New York Police Department said. Surveillance video from inside the building showed a man repeatedly kicking and stomping Kari.
She was hospitalized with serious injuries, including a fractured pelvis and forehead contusions, but has since been released.
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Brandon Elliot 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 to the attack, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said. Elliot was already on lifetime parole for fatally stabbing his mother in 2002, according to authorities.
In a statement last week, the head of the union representing the building workers disputed the allegation that the doormen did not act.
“Our union is working to get further details for a more complete account and urges the public to avoid a rush to judgment while the facts are determined,” union president Kyle Bragg said.
The union initially said the workers immediately called for help, but on Wednesday said they waited until the attacker left to aid the woman and flag a police car.
The attack was the latest in a wave of hate incidents against Asian Americans across the country. More than 3,795 incidents were reported to Stop AAPI Hate from March 19, 2020, to Feb. 28, 2021, but this is “only a fraction of the number of hate incidents that actually occur,” the advocacy group said.
Contributing: Ryan Miller, USA TODAY.