A suspect who was arrested in New York City in connection with a shocking attack against a 65-year-old Asian-American woman has been charged with hate crimes, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said Wednesday night.
The suspect, Brandon Elliot, 38, was ordered held without bail. He appeared at a virtual arraignment Wednesday evening in Criminal Court in New York County (Manhattan), Fox News was told.
"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," Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement. "Let me be clear: This brave woman belongs here. Asian-American New Yorkers belong here. Everyone belongs here. Attacks against Asian-American New Yorkers are attacks against all New Yorkers, and my Office will continue to stand against hate in all its forms."
The crime was captured on video, with the suspect – later identified by authorities as Elliot – shown knocking the woman to the ground and beating her as other people looked on.
Courtney Razner, an assistant district attorney in Vance’s office, called the incident a "heinous and unprovoked hate crime," that resulted in a broken pelvis and other injuries for the elderly victim.
The DA’s office sought for Elliot to remain behind bars, pending further legal action, because of his past criminal record. Razner noted that Elliot, at age 19, had fatally stabbed his mother in front of his young sister, a crime for which he was later sentenced to 15 years in prison, until being paroled in 2019.
Razner also described the current case against Elliot as strong, claiming that investigators had matched the image of the suspect seen in the attack to another image taken by a different surveillance camera that same day.
"The defendant has every incentive to flee these charges, and there are no release conditions that ae sufficient to ensure that he returns to court, given the nature of this case," Razner said.
New York Criminal Court Judge Paul McDonnell agreed with the argument and ordered Elliot held without bail.
Defense attorneys who represented Elliot in court advised the public against prejudging the case.
"We strongly urge the public to reserve judgment until all the facts are presented in court," Legal Aid attorneys Alisha Bacchus and Jamie Niskanen-Singer said in a joint statement to Fox News. "Mr. Elliot has a constitutional right to counsel and due process."
Fox News’ Marta Dhanis contributed to this story.