A horrific incident on a New York street involving a Black man unleashing a brutal beating on an elderly Asian woman has led to an arrest and growing outrage. Brandon Elliot, who murdered his mother in 2002 and served 17 years, was free on parole and carried out his attack on the 65-year-old woman on Monday (March 29).
The NYPD Hate Crimes division shared a tweet on Tuesday that featured surveillance video images of Elliot along with reports of his arrest and charges. Elliot was slapped with both Felony Assault as a Hate Crime and Attempted Assault as a Hate Crime charges.
This comes as awareness surrounding rising hate crimes toward Asian Americans have been front and center of the news cycle in the wake of a mass shooting event in the Atlanta, Ga. metro region that led to the arrest of a white male shooter.
According to a report from local outlet WABC, Elliot was identified as a homeless person and the NYPD’s Crimestoppers division received a number of tips pointing to the suspect’s location at a homeless shelter on West 40th Street.
Police monitored the hotel that served as a shelter for the homeless and arrested Elliot Tuesday night (March 30) and will be arraigned on Wednesday (March 31).
Elliot was arrested at the age of 19 for stabbing his mother to death in the Bronx. He was released on lifetime parole in November 2019.
According to eyewitness accounts, Elliot made several anti-Asian statements towards the woman, who he towered over and used his size to deliver a series of kicks to her head and body while shouting at her. A man tried to confront Elliot but said that the suspect pulled out a knife and fled on foot.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo addressed the attack in a statement, calling on all New Yorkers to band together in this trying time. Cuomo also pledged that the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force would join the investigation.
“The reports of a brutal assault on an Asian American woman in Midtown are absolutely horrifying and repugnant,” Cuomo said. “We are all New Yorkers, no matter how we look or what language we speak, and we must always look out for one another and help those who need it…Violence against our Asian American community is, unfortunately, becoming an epidemic in our state and across this nation, and it must stop now.”
There is some concern that this attack will heighten tensions between Black and Asian residents of the city and it goes without saying that Elliot’s actions are isolated and of his own motivation, not a representation of how Black Americans largely view Asian Americans as a whole despite the attempts of spin sure to come in the next few days.
We elected not to share the video of the attack as it is disturbing to watch.
Photo: NYPD Crimestoppers