A 31-year-old African American who allegedly said he wanted to attack the next white person who walked by could be charged with hate crimes after punching three people in an apparent racially motivated attack.
One of his victims, 62-year-old Jeffrey Babbitt, has been left brain damaged after being punched to the ground in New York's Union Square on Wednesday afternoon, in a senseless attack that shocked onlookers.
Witnesses were shocked at the unexpected violence in Union Square on Wednesday afternoon, as Lashawn Marten punched Mr Babbitt and two other men after allegedly making racist comments
He said "the next white person who walks by I'm going to f***",' one woman said. 'His fist went in and the man's head bobbed and he hit the ground and you could hear his skull hitting the ground.'
The victim, Mr Babbitt, the sole carer of his 92-year-old mother Hedda, has been in a coma since being knocked to the ground, and is believed to be brain dead, according to CBS New York.
'The prognosis is not good and it does appear that the victim will likely die,' Manhattan Assistant District Attorney John Temple said at Martenâ??s arraignment on Thursday.
Mrs Babbitt, who the retired train conductor shared a Brooklyn apartment with, has been at his hospital's bedside since Wednesday.