Doormen Who Stood By After Brutal Attack on Asian Woman Are Firedavril 6, 2021
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 told residents in an email on Tuesday.
Rick Mason, the executive director of management at the Brodsky Organization, which owns the luxury apartment building in Midtown, told residents in an email that two doormen who were inside the building at the time had not followed “emergency and safety protocols.”
“For this reason, their employment has been terminated, effective immediately,” his email said. Mr. Mason did not identify the doormen, and a spokeswoman for the union that represents them did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The attack on the woman, Vilma Kari, 65, last Monday was one of a wave of assaults that have caused mounting fear and anxiety among Asian-Americans in New York and across the country.
Adding to the outrage that greeted the release of the video of Ms. Kari’s attack was the fact that building staff members appeared to stand by passively after it took place, with one of them moving only to close the door as Ms. Kari was lying on the ground injured. That worker was fired, as well as another doorman who was visible in the video only momentarily.
A longer version of the video that the building released in the days following the attack showed both staff members standing by for about a minute, though that video also showed that they may not have witnessed the attack firsthand.
They later exited the building and appeared to help Ms. Kari. Mr. Mason’s email to residents emphasized that they had flagged down a police car.
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. Mr. Elliot, who in the video appeared 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.