Suspect Charged With Hate Crime After Assaulting 65-Year-Old Asian-American Woman

The brutal attack on elderly Filipina woman Vilma Kari in New York City has sparked outrage.

April 02, 2021

Vilma Kari's daughter, Elizabeth, set up a GoFundMe raising more than $200,000 for her recovery. [photo courtesy of Elizabeth Kari]

Vilma Kari's daughter, Elizabeth, set up a GoFundMe raising more than $200,000 for her recovery. [photo courtesy of Elizabeth Kari]

By: Aaron Rasmussen

A man is in custody after he allegedly assaulted an elderly Asian American woman on her way to church in New York City, police said.

Brandon Elliot, 38, was arrested on March 31 — one day after authorities released video that appears to show him approach 65-year-old Vilma Kari, who is of Filipina descent, and assault her, the Associated Press reported.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by CNN, on March 29, Elliot went up to the woman in Midtown Manhattan, shouted a curse and anti-Asian slurs, kicked her to the ground, and then repeatedly struck her.

The victim reportedly suffered head injuries as well as a fractured pelvis in the unprovoked attack.

Elliot previously served 17 years in prison for stabbing his mother to death in 2002, NYC’s WCBS-TV reported. He was released from custody last November and placed on lifetime parole.

Multiple tips reportedly led investigators to a Hell’s Kitchen homeless shelter where Elliot had been staying when the alleged hate crime occurred.


“When you’re releasing people from prison and you’re putting them in homeless shelters, you’re asking for trouble,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said, according to WCBS-TV. “There’s got to be a safety net and there’s got to be resources for them.”

Elliot currently faces charges of felony assault as a hate crime. If convicted, he could serve up to 25 years behind bars, in addition to any other penalties related to his parole.

“This brave woman belongs here. Asian American New Yorkers belong here. Everyone belongs here,” Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said after filing charges against Elliot, the AP reported.

Vilma Kari's daughter, Elizabeth, organized a GoFundMe page to raise funds for her mother's recovery and to support the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in the wake of the recent rise in anti-AAPI attacks.

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