Suspect in attack on 65-year-old Filipina woman to face New York judge

Roselle Chen, Reuters

Posted at Apr 06 2021 04:46 AM

People attend a Stop Asian Hate rally at Times Square in New York City on April 4, 2021. Eduardo Munoz, Reuters

NEW YORK—A New York man charged with assaulting a 65-year-old Asian woman in a hate crime was scheduled to appear before a Manhattan Criminal Court judge on Monday, as community activists demonstrated outside.

Police have identified Brandon Elliot, 38, as the man seen in a video kicking the woman to the ground and then kicking her head several times on March 29 near Times Square in Manhattan.

Elliot, on lifetime parole after serving a prison term for murdering his mother, was arraigned last week on two charges of second-degree assault as a hate crime and one count of first-degree attempted assault as a hate crime.

He was arrested at his New York City residence on March 30, police said.

"This attack would not have happened if he was not released," said Phil Wong, president of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York, in front of the courthouse.

The New York Times identified the victim as Vilma Kari, an immigrant from the Philippines, citing a law enforcement source. An NYPD spokesman declined to confirm her identity. According to the Times, Kari suffered a fractured pelvis.

Hate crimes reported against Asian Americans increased 149% in 2020 in 16 major U.S. cities compared with 2019, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump often referred to the coronavirus as the "China virus" and the "China plague."

Concern over such crimes was heightened when six Asian women were among eight people shot dead last month at Atlanta-area spas. A 21-year-old man was charged with the murders. Police have yet to determine a motive.

(Reporting by Roselle Chen; Editing by Richard Chang)

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