Man accused of a hate attack on Vilma Kari pleads not guilty

Brandon Elliot | Photo via NYPD

NEW YORK – Brandon Elliot, 38, the man accused of a hate attack on Filipina Vilma Kari, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault as a hate crime in the second degree and one count of attempted assault as a hate crime in the first degree, according to the New York Daily News.

The suspect allegedly kicked and stomped victim Kari while down on a sidewalk. | Photo via NYPD

Elliot appeared on Monday, May 11, at his New York State Supreme Court arraignment. He is currently being held at Anna M. Kross Correctional Facility at the Rikers Island jail complex. Judge Maxwell Wiley set bail at $500,000 cash or a $1 million bond. His next court appearance is set for July 14. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison, according to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

The brutal attack on Kari happened on March 29 in front of a luxury apartment building in Hell’s Kitchen near West 43rd Street and Ninth Avenue and was caught on a nearby surveillance video, police said.

Vilma Kari, left, with daughter. | Photo Via Facebook

Kari suffered a fractured pelvis, contusions to her head, and a cracked rib, Assistant District Attorney Courtney Razner said.

Elliot was arrested on March 31 at a hotel where he lived and was taken into custody after he allegedly knocked the 65-year-old Kari to the ground and repeatedly kicked and stomped on. Law enforcement sources said he told the victim, “you don’t belong here,” before fleeing the scene. Tips from the public led to his apprehension, police said.

In the aftermath of the attack, several groups joined together, including the three Fil Am candidates to the City Council at a rally in Hell’s Kitchen to show support for New York’s Asian community. New York City Human Rights Commissioner Carmelyn Malalis started the campaign with a simple set of posters.

Elliot has several past arrests, according to news reports. In 2002, he was arrested for stabbing his mother in front of his 5-year-old sister and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was released from prison in 2019.

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