New York Daily News
A city doorman and a concierge were fired Tuesday for failing to come to the aid of a Filipina woman as she was brutally attacked and peppered with racist insults in front of their eyes.
The Brodsky Organization announced the dismissals a week after disturbing footage of the horrific attack surfaced that shows the woman struggling to fend off her 6-foot-2 attacker while one of the men moves quietly to close the front entrance to the luxury Midtown apartment building.
The employees, both members of SEIU Local 32BJ, were suspended in the aftermath of the assault — one of a string of hate crimes in New York City and nationally in recent weeks against Asian-Americans.
An internal investigation led by Brodsky Organization management resulted in the firing of the two men on Tuesday, according to Carolina Gonzalez, 32BJ’s regional communications manager.
A statement released by the union said it played no role in the company’s investigation.
“We were recently notified that the employer, the Brodsky corporation, terminated both the doorman and concierge on duty during the heinous attack of a 65-year-old, woman of Filipino descent on March 29 in front of 360 W 43rd Street,” said the union’s president, Kyle Bragg.
“Contrary to published reports, the union did not play any role whatsoever in this decision.”
Brandon Elliot, 38, was out on supervised parole after serving time for killing his mother over a decade ago when he attacked Vilma Kari, a diminutive 65-yearold woman, in front of 360 W. 43rd St. as she walked to a nearby church the morning of March 29.
Elliot slammed Kari to the sidewalk and kicked her in the head multiple times before he fled the scene, the video shows.
He allegedly screamed “F—k you. You don’t belong here,” during the unprovoked attack that shattered Kari’s pelvis and injured her head. She is now recovering at home following a hospital stay, her family said.
Elliot was charged with two counts of second-degree assault as a hate crime and one count of first-degree attempted assault as a hate crime for the vicious assault. He faces significant prison time if convicted.
The suspect’s Legal Aid Socitety lawyers have asked the public to reserve judgment “until all the facts are presented in court.”
The Brodsky Organization — one of the city’s largest developers — initially defended the workers, explaining they’d moved to close the door because it appeared Elliot had a knife and posed a safety risk.
A building manager did not respond to the Daily News’ requests for comment following news of the men’s firing.
The doorman and the concierge, whose names have not been made public, are fighting their firing with their union’s help.
Bragg said extended video of the attack shows the doormen eventually coming to Kari’s aid after Elliot runs off. But the NYPD has said the building workers didn’t call 911 to report the assault as it was happening.
Bragg said 32BJ is a union comprised of majority immigrant, Black and Brown workers that takes anti-Asian hatred seriously.
“32BJ members are immigrants and people of color themselves, subject to much of the same racism and violence that our AAPI neighbors face,” he said in a statement. “We believe we must root out systemic racism in all its forms.”