Pinay senior attacked in New York raises over $260K for recovery

Vilma Kari

Doormen fired for not intervening

IN a show of support after a brutal attack, the fundraiser for Vilma Kari, the elderly Filipina immigrant who was assaulted on her way to church in New York, has surpassed its goal and garnered over $260,000 in a week.

Kari’s daughter Elizabeth started the GoFundMe page last week, days after she was attacked in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood.

“Apart from using the fund towards recovery for Vilma, my mother would like to support other victims and organizations to further raise awareness to our fellow AAPI community (so that we can continue to a path that educate[s] everyone around us and put an end to these attacks),” wrote Elizabeth on the fundraising page.

Kari, 65, was walking to church around 1 p.m. on March 29 when the suspect, later identified as Brandon Elliot, assaulted her and knocked her to the ground.

The unprovoked attack was captured by a CCTV camera, showing Elliot kicking Kari several times in the head before walking away. He reportedly told her, “You don’t belong here.”

Kari suffered serious injuries, including a fractured pelvis and forehead contusions, according to the police.

As of this writing, the GoFundMe page has raised a total of $263,218.

In an update posted on Monday, April, 5, Elizabeth expressed her gratitude for the outpour of support they’ve been getting.

“To everyone who has been a part of this journey, with my mom and I – we wanted to say THANK YOU,” she wrote.

“There are no words to describe how appreciative we are of your kindness and time. We are blessed and humbled by your uplifting messages and reminded that despite how unique and different we may be from one another, we can still come together just as strong, compassionate, and resilient,” she added.

Elizabeth also shared that her mother “has been resting these past few days.”

“Again, we are thankful for your generosity and overjoyed for the heartfelt moments you’ve graced us with during this time,” she concluded.

Doormen fired

Two doormen have been sacked after being caught on video failing to help Kari outside the luxury Hell’s Kitchen building.

In the six-minute surveillance video, the lobby staffers only watched the assault from inside the building, with one of them closed the building’s door while Kari was laid on the ground.

Rick Mason, the executive director of management at the Brodsky Organization, which owns the building along 43rd St., told residents in an email that the lobby staffers did not follow “required emergency and safety protocols,” the New York Times reported.

“For this reason, their employment has been terminated, effective immediately,” read the email.

Previously, Brodsky said the employees who witnessed the assault were “suspended pending an investigation in conjunction with their union.”

Meanwhile, 32BJ SEIU, the doormen’s union, said it played no role in Brodsky’s decision to fire the two lobby staffers.

“The Union did not play any role whatsoever in this decision. Also, not accurately depicted, the workers did assist the victim and flagged down the police, as was shown in a longer version of the building’s camera footage. Under their collective bargaining agreement, both employees have the right to file grievances,” said union president Kyle Bragg in a statement.

“There is a contractual process to challenge terminations. The employees have initiated that process, but the process is just beginning and can take weeks or months,” he added.

According to him, the union is “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,” said Bragg.

“We believe we must root out systemic racism in all its forms. We believe that all union workers, especially workers of color who are often the subject of unfair treatment on the job, have a right to a fair process as outlined in their contract,” he added. (Ritchel Mendiola/AJPress)

Ritchel Mendiola
Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at ritchel.mendiola@asianjournalinc.com.

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