Doormen who stood by after brutal attack on Asian woman are fired
NEW YORK – The lobby staff members who closed the door to a Manhattan apartment building last week without taking immediate action after a Filipino American woman was brutally attacked on the street outside have been fired, the building’s owners told residents in an e-mail on Tuesday (April 6).
Mr Rick Mason, the executive director of management at the Brodsky Organization, which owns the luxury apartment building in Midtown, told residents of all of the organisation’s buildings in an e-mail that two doormen who were inside the building at the time had not followed “required emergency and safety protocols”.
“For this reason, their employment has been terminated, effective immediately,” Mr Mason’s e-mail said.
He did not identify the doormen.
The attack on the woman, Ms Vilma Kari, 65, last week, the video of which quickly went viral, was one of a wave of assaults over the past year that have caused mounting fear and anxiety among Asian Americans in New York and across the country.
The first video of the attack on Ms Kari is 25 seconds long and ends with the building staff members appearing to stand by passively while she lies on the ground injured, with one of them moving only to close the door.
That the workers’ only visible response was to watch without helping added to the outrage that greeted the release of the video, which appears to show an episode of random, unprovoked violence punctuated by a callous, uncaring response.
The worker who closed the door was one of the two doormen who were fired, along with another doorman who is only momentarily visible in the video.
A longer video of the building staff members’ response to the attack later obtained by The New York Times presents a fuller picture of what transpired.
That video, which lasts for more than six minutes and shows both staff members standing by before responding, indicated they likely did not witness the attack on Ms Kari firsthand but were alerted to it by a delivery person who was in the lobby.
The video also suggests that the attacker lingered near the front of the building after the assault.
🚨WANTED for ASSAULT: Do you know this guy? On 3/29/21 at approx 11:40 AM, in front of 360 W 43 St in Manhattan, the suspect punched and kicked a 65-year-old woman while making anti-Asian statements. Any info? DM @NYPDTips or anonymously call them at 800-577-TIPS. pic.twitter.com/WRE4kSHtRG
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) March 30, 2021
New video released showing another angle of the 65-year-old Asian American woman (Filipino) repeatedly kicked in her head in New York yesterday. The attack has prompted US President Biden to release a statement and campaigners to highlight #StopAsianHate pic.twitter.com/jZ8W3LVxjL
— Michael Gravesande (@OldBlackHack) March 30, 2021
About a minute after one of the staff members closes the door, both of them exit the building and appear to help Ms Kari. Mr Mason’s e-mail to residents emphasised that they had also flagged down a police car.
Mr Mason’s e-mail said that the Brodsky Organization would retrain its building service staff on how to respond to emergencies, and would add training on “anti-bias awareness and upstander-bystander interventions”. An upstander is someone who intervenes in a helpful way, interrupting what could otherwise be a harmful situation.
Brandon Elliot, 38, was arrested after the attack, and the Manhattan district attorney’s office charged him with three counts of assault as a hate crime.
Elliot, who in the video appears to have kicked Ms Kari in the torso and head, singled her out as Asian and told her, “You don’t belong here,” according to the criminal complaint.