Doorman, concierge worker fired for response to hate-crime attack outside building
NEW YORK - A doorman and a concierge worker at a luxury apartment building in Hell's Kitchen have been fired after the building owner said they did not come to the aid of 65-year-old Vilma Kari, a Filipina woman who was brutally attacked in front of them in what is being called a hate-crime attack.
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The Brodsky Organization announced the firings in a letter to residents of the West 43rd St. building.
"We are extremely distraught and shocked by this incident, and our hearts go out to the victim, an Asian-American neighbor on her way to church," the letter stated.
Kari was walking to church in Midtown Manhattan when police said a man kicked her in the stomach, knocked her to the ground, stomped on her face, shouted anti-Asian slurs, and told her, "you don't belong here" before casually walking away.
Brandon Elliot, 38, was taken into custody in connection with the attack. The horrifying incident was caught on surveillance video.
The parolee, who was convicted of killing his mother nearly two decades ago, faces multiple charges including felony assault as a hate crime.
A man inside the building lobby seemingly stopped what he was doing to watch the assault and later two more men wearing blazers walk into the frame and one of them closes the door as the woman was on the ground.
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The owners say they fired the workers after an investigation into their response to the attack.
In the letter to residents the organization stated: "While the full lobby video shows that once the assailant had departed, the doormen emerged to assist the victim and flag down an NYPD vehicle, it is clear that required emergency and safety protocols were not followed."
Some residents of the building had defended the workers in a letter to the management company and the media. They contended that a video clip focusing on the suspect and the assault was "unfortunately cut to inadvertently exclude the compassionate action" taken by the staff, which they said included giving the victim aid and alerting medics.
32BJ of SEIU, which is the union that represents the two men, says they are filing grievances over their firings.
"32BJ is a union comprised of majority immigrant, Black and brown workers. We take anti-Asian hatred, and all forms of discrimination, seriously. 32BJ members are immigrants and people of color themselves, subject to much of the same racism and violence that our AAPI neighbors face," a union said in a statement to FOX5NY.com.