Brandon Elliot was arrested on Wednesday after viciously attacking a 65-year-old Filipino immigrant two days prior.
The woman, later identified to be Vilma Kari, was on her way to church near Times Square in New York City when Elliot kicked her down and began beating her. He kicked Kari in the stomach and stomped on her face, shouted anti-Asian slurs and told her, “you don’t belong here.”
Meanwhile, three men watched the attack happen from the lobby of a nearby apartment building. One of the men, a security guard for the building, closed the front door and walked away as Kari attempted to stand up.
During a New York Police Department and Manhattan District Attorney’s Office press conference on Wednesday, Chief of Department Rodney Harrison urged that anyone who is a witness to a hate crime should come forward and report it.
“If someone happens to encounter a hate crime, if you see something say something,” Harrison stated. “Try to get a good description. If you want to remain anonymous, utilize our hotline 1-800-577-TIPS. Please try not to get physical with the assailant, and too often we’ve seen people take out their cameras to take video, understand that that could be detrimental as well.”
In the midtown Manhattan neighborhood near where the crime occurred, police put up wanted posters with Elliot’s face and a $2,500 reward for any information leading to the whereabouts of the man seen on the surveillance video.
Following tips from the public, Elliot was found living at a hotel that serves as a homeless shelter a few blocks away from the attack scene. Police took him into custody at the hotel around midnight on Wednesday.
Elliot was arraigned on Wednesday afternoon and was charged with one count of attempted assault in the first degree as a hate crime and two counts of assault in the second degree as a hate crime. He is scheduled to appear in court on April 5 and could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.