UNION SQUARE — A Brooklyn man who was left in a coma after a homeless man punched him during a possible hate attack in Union Square Park last week died on Monday, officials said.
Sheepshead Bay resident Jeffrey Babbitt, 62, was rushed to Bellevue Hospital and declared brain dead after Lashawn Marten, 31, punched him so hard that his head hit the pavement at the southwest corner of the park on Wednesday afternoon.
He died Monday morning due to a skull fracture and bleeding on the brain caused by the impact, a spokeswoman from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said. His death was ruled a homicide.
Before the attack, sources said Marten was pacing through Union Square about 3 p.m., railing at park-goers as they passed, when he announced, “I’m going to punch the next white person I see,” sources said.
That’s when Marten wheeled around and hit Babbitt in the face, sending the back of his head slamming into the sidewalk, court records show.
The incident is being investigated as a hate crime, sources said.
Marten also attacked two bystanders who tried to intervene during the incident, leaving one man with injuries to his head and back, and another man with pain in his face, court records said.
As of Monday, Marten was charged with two felony assault charges, court records show. He has numerous previous arrests for assault, sources said.
During his arraignment on Thursday, the judge set bail at $1 million.
Marten is due for a court appearance on Sept. 10.