Brandon Elliot sentenced after he was accused of NYC Times Square attack on Vilma Kari – DollarJob

Brandon Elliot sentenced after he was accused of NYC Times Square attack on Vilma Kari


A New York man has been sentenced almost three years after he was accused of violently attacking an Asian American woman in Times Square. 

Brandon Elliot, 41, was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in state prison. He had pleaded guilty to one count of assault in the first degree as a hate crime, and one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree.

In 2021, Elliot attacked Vilma Kari, then 65 years old, when she was on her way to church. Elliot shouted expletives at Kari, telling her, “You don’t belong here,” before toppling her and stomping on her head and body repeatedly. 

Elliot’s attorney, Jamie Niskanen-Singer, said in a statement shared with NBC News that his client had “expressed remorse” for what Kari had gone through.

“Mr. Elliot has long suffered from serious and well-documented mental health diagnoses, which was a contributing factor but by no means a blanket excuse,” Niskanen-Singer said in the statement. “He has accepted responsibility for his actions and sought to spare Ms. Kari of having to relive the ordeal at a trial.”

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg Jr. said in a statement that he hoped the sentencing would send a message to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. 

Vilma Kari, right, with her daughter Elizabeth.
The 2021 attack against Vilma Kari, right, was one of many violent anti-Asian incidents across the country. Courtesy Vilma Kari

“Brandon Elliot assaulted a 65-year-old woman because of her Filipino descent,” Bragg said. “I hope the closure of this case will allow the victim to continue healing and moving forward, while also sending a strong message that we will seek full accountability for anyone who commits violence against their fellow New Yorkers because of their race or ethnicity.” 

Elliot, who had been on lifetime parole for murdering his mother in 2002, approached the victim, who’s Filipino American, on the sidewalk. In addition to yelling racial insults, Elliot kicked her in the torso and knocked her to the ground before kicking and stomping on her head and body, according to a news release from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. 

At one point, a bystander attempted to intervene, according to the release, but Kari threatened the man with a knife and fled the scene. Kari, who was taken to the hospital, was diagnosed with a fractured pelvis, forehead contusions and contusions across her body. Elliot was arrested two days later.

Video that captured the attack quickly went viral, prompting outcry from the Asian American community against anti-Asian attacks. The attack left Kari in shock, she previously told NBC News in 2021 via email, but continued to call for greater attention to violence against people of Asian descent.

“I feel that there is now more awareness and consciousness that has developed after my attack,” she wrote. “But there needs to be more support and education about what the AAPI community is facing at this moment, especially since there are cases that have not been reported and classified as hate crimes.”

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