On Wednesday, a man shouting that he “hated white people” punched victim Jeffrey Babbitt — who is white — in the face, witnesses said, causing him to fall and strike his head on the ground.
Lashawn Marten, 31, who is black, “made statements to the effect that I’m going to punch the first white man that I see,” said NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly.
After punching Babbitt, Marten allegedly attacked two other men who came to Babbitt’s aid, police said. Police were investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.
Paramedics took Babbitt to Bellevue Hospital, where he lapsed into a coma and was pronounced brain-dead by doctors.