A 62-year-old man, Jeffrey Babbit, has died after being punched and knocked out by man who claimed he would attack the first white person he came across, reports NBC New York.
LaShawn Marten, 31, has been arrested in connection with the crime.
Here’s what you need to know about him…
1. Marten Told People He ‘Hated White People’
— Joey Boots (@JoeyBoots) September 4, 2013
The case is being investigated by the NYPD’s Hate Crimes unit. It’s alleged that Marten punched the 62-year-old white man in the face and then hit two other white males, 48 and 18, who came to Babbit’s aid.
The 62-year-old fell into a coma and died, the other two victims were treated at hospital and released on the same day. NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said: “The suspect “made statements to the effect that ‘I’m going to punch the first white man that I see.’”
It had been reported that Babbit was expected to die as he had become braindead over the weekend, reports The Daily News.
2. Prior to the Attack, Marten Was Playing Chess
It’s reported that LaShawn was playing chess prior to the attack. The heinous assault took place on Wednesday September 4 in a crowded sunny Union Square. Sergio Torres, a chess player in Union Square, told ABC New York:
You’re doing that for kicks because you’re some kind of twisted individual, or something is absolutely off. A person like that shouldn’t be roaming the streets. If anything I would charge him with the highest sentence.
Surveillance footage show Marten sitting down and then standing up several times from the table where he was playing chess. At one point he took he off his shirt. Cops described Marten as looking “agitated.”
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3. Babbit Was His Alzheimer Suffering Mother’s Only Carer
Jeffrey Babbit is a retired subway train driver. He lived with his 92-year-old mother, Hedda, in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Babbit was her primary caregiver as Hedda Babbit suffers from Alzheimer’s. One neighbor, Igor Sapozhnikov, told CBS:
I don’t believe that. I don’t know why that happened. He is very nice.
4. In 2003, Babbit Was Featured in a New York Times Article
A November 2003 feature called “URBAN TACTICS; Crib Notes From the Underground” detailed Babbit’s career working for the MTA. In the piece he recalls being allowed to drive a subway by the train’s motorway when he was three years old. In the article Babbit describes his ideal job as “motorman instructor.” Babbit was at the time of the article awaiting his test to become a “motorman instructor.” He also described himself as a “train historian” and a member of the New York Railroad Enthusiasts. His friends in the NYRE were confident that Babbit would pass:
They just know I’m going to ace this thing, I remember all the equipment. I have super memory on stuff like that.
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5. Marten Thought His Bail Should Be Set a One Penny
Marten has two previous arrests for felony assault in New York City, as well as numerous other arrests, mainly for assault related offenses. DNA Info reports that during his arraignment Marten openly mocked the judge and demanded his bail be set at one penny. Marten is being held on a $1 million bond.