Union Square ‘I hate white people’ beating victim dies; suspect in court

NEW STORY: Man tried to give sandwich to ‘I hate white people’ attacker before fatal punch: witnesses

A 62-year-old man who was brutally attacked in Union Square last week died Monday.

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.

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Jeffrey Babbitt lies on the ground in Union Square Park, and attack suspect Lashawn Marten, kneeling at right, is restrained. (Photo contributed to PIX11 News)

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.

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Brooklyn resident Jeffrey Babbitt died at Bellevue Hospital after a seemingly unprovoked attack at Union Square. (Image: Handout via Newsday)

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.

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Jeffrey Babbitt was knocked to the ground and left bleeding after the attack in Union Square Park. (Photo contributed to PIX11 News)

Babbitt was a longtime resident of the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn, where neighbors and friends were shocked by news of the assault.  “Everybody’s broken up about this,” neighbor Audrey Feifer, 75, told Newsday. “If you had to go to the doctor or anywhere, he would take you.”

Babbitt reportedly lived with his 94-year-old mother Lucille, and was described by those who knew him as being ‘obsessed’ with trains and comic books.

Marten has been charged with second- and third-degree assault and will go before a grand jury Tuesday, the Manhattan D.A.’s office told PIX11 Monday.

Marten’s charges may be upgraded at that time.

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