NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea on Wednesday blamed the city’s homeless shelter system for playing a part in the brutal beatdown of an Asian woman — saying the hate-crime attack “never should’ve happened.”
The city’s top cop would not say whether Brandon Elliot — the 38-year-old brute who was caught-on-camera allegedly assaulting the 65-year-old victim on Monday — should have been let out on parole.
Elliot had been sprung on lifetime parole in 2019 after serving about 17 years for murdering his mother in 2002.
“That’s a question more for the parole board,” Shea said on PIX 11. “But what I would say is, people pay their debt to society. They’ve got to be given second chances.
He added that he has a “different perspective” as police commissioner — as he blasted the lack of resources at the city’s homeless shelters, where Elliot had been staying when he was busted for the broad-daylight attack.
“When you’re releasing people from prison and you’re putting them in homeless shelters, you’re asking for trouble,” Shea said. “There’s got to be a safety net and there’s got to be resources for them.”
He added, “Releasing people and putting them in homeless shelters — I’ve been harping on this for years now — and I think you just shake your head and think, ‘What could possibly go wrong?’ And this is what goes wrong. It just never should’ve happened.”
Elliot was staying at the Four Points by Sheraton, a converted city-run homeless shelter on West 40th Street, when he attacked the victim, VIlma Kari, unprovoked.
Shea decried the hate crime, saying “My heart just goes out to the Asian community and this victim in particular. It’s a horrific, horrific attack by a parolee.”
The stomach-churning assault comes amid a surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans across the country, including New York City.
Some 300 homeless men were recently moved to the Sheraton hotel shelter from one at a former DoubleTree Hotel on West 36th Street following complaints from Hell’s Kitchen residents of drug use and fighting, Patch reported in January.