A lawyer for a parolee accused of kicking and stomping on a 65-year-old Asian American woman in Manhattan urged the public to reserve judgement in the case.
Brandon Elliot, 38, was convicted of killing his mother nearly two decades ago. He was arrested just after 1 a.m. Wednesday in connection with a Monday attack that left a woman with a fractured pelvis, forehead contusions and contusions across her body.
“Mr. Elliot has a constitutional right to counsel and due process,” a spokesperson for the Legal Aid Society said. “As with every client we represent, he will have unfettered access to our legal resources and expertise.”
Elliot was arraigned Wednesday on charges of assault and attempted assault as hate crimes. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said Elliot faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
“Mr. Elliot is accused of brutally shoving, kicking, and stomping a 65-year-old mother to the ground after telling her that she didn’t belong here,” Vance said. “Let me be clear: this brave woman belongs here. Asian-American New Yorkers belong here. Everyone belongs here.”
Monday’s attack, among the latest in a national spike in anti-Asian hate crimes, drew widespread condemnation and concerns about the failure of bystanders to intervene. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the attack “absolutely disgusting and outrageous” and said it was “absolutely unacceptable” that witnesses didn’t help the woman.
The attack happened just weeks after a mass shooting in Atlanta that left eight people dead, six of them women of Asian descent, and just a few days after a 65-year-old Asian American woman in the same midtown Manhattan neighborhood was threatened and heckled with anti-Asian slurs.
The surge in violence has been linked in part to misplaced blame for the coronavirus pandemic and former President Donald Trump’s use of terms like “Chinese virus.”