Suspect in attack on Asian American woman in NYC is arrested


NEW YORK (AP) — The suspect wanted in a brutal attack of an Asian American woman has been arrested and charged with felony assault as a hate crime, according to the New York Police Department.

The arrest, posted on the NYPD Hate Crimes’ Twitter account early Wednesday, comes after the man was seen on video kicking and stomping the woman near New York City’s Times Square on Monday.

In a separate statement, police identified the man as Brandon Elliot, 38, of New York City, and said he faces charges of attempted assault as a hate crime, assault as a hate crime, assault and attempted assault.

Elliot was convicted of stabbing his mother to death in the Bronx in 2002, when he was 19. He was released from prison in 2019 and is on lifetime parole.

The 65-year-old woman, whose name has not been made public, was walking in midtown Manhattan, a few blocks from Times Square, when a man approached her and kicked her in the abdomen, knocking her to the ground, police said.

The man then stomped on the woman’s face several times while hurling anti-Asian sentiments at her before casually walking away, police said. The woman was discharged from the hospital Tuesday after being treated for serious injuries, a hospital spokesperson said.

Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Manuel Romualdez said the victim is Filipino American.

The country’s foreign secretary, Teodoro Locsin Jr., condemned the attack in a Twitter post, saying “This is gravely noted and will influence Philippine foreign policy.”

Locsin did not elaborate how the attack could influence Philippine policy toward the United States. The countries are longtime treaty allies and the Philippine leader, Rodrigo Duterte, is a vocal critic of U.S. security policies who has moved to terminate a key agreement that allows largescale military exercises with American forces in the Philippines.

“I might as well say it, so no one on the other side can say, `We didn’t know you took racial brutality against Filipinos at all seriously.’ We do,” Locsin said.

Surveillance video released by police showed two people who appeared to be security guards at a nearby building standing by and failing to intervene. They’ve been suspended pending an investigation. Their union said it had information that they had called for help immediately.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called Monday’s attack “absolutely disgusting and outrageous.” He said it was “absolutely unacceptable” that witnesses did not intervene.

“I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what you do, you’ve got to help your fellow New Yorker,” de Blasio said, evoking the post-9/11 mantra of “see something, say something.”

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