NEW YORK – Two doormen at a New York City apartment building were fired for failing to assist an Asian woman who was violently attacked on the sidewalk a few days ago, the company that manages the building said Tuesday.
Surveillance video from the March 29 attack near Times Square showed that neither of the two employees left and that they did not approach the woman until more than a minute after the violence stopped and the the aggressor walked away.
The men watched from the lobby as 65-year-old Vilma Kari was repeatedly kicked and trampled, the video shows. One of them closed the door of the building while Kari lay on the ground seconds after the attack ended.
The building’s management company, The Brodsky Organization, initially suspended the doormen pending an investigation. That study was completed Tuesday and the porters were fired, according to the company.
“Although the full video from the lobby shows that once the assailant left, the doormen came out to help the victim and call the NYPD, it is clear that the required emergency and security protocols were not followed,” the company said in a statement.
The firm also promised to provide all building services employees with training on emergency response protocols, awareness against prejudice and intervention in adverse situations by bystanders.
The porter’s union, SEIU 32BJ, confirmed that its members were fired, but declined to comment further. The union previously said that the gatekeepers waited until the attacker walked away to see how Kari – who emigrated from the Philippines several decades ago – was doing and to stop a nearby patrol because they thought the attacker had a knife.
The video shows a patrol car stopping about a minute after the doormen exited. Workers and officers are seen with the woman on the sidewalk for several more minutes and then the video is interrupted.
Brandon Elliot, a 38-year-old man who was on probation after being convicted of killing his mother nearly two decades ago, was charged with assault and attempted battery as hate crimes. He has a court hearing on April 21. His lawyers have urged people to “reserve all judgment until all the facts are presented in court.”