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Jeffrey Babbitt Update: NYC man dies after random, possibly racially motivated, attack

Victim Jeffrey Babbit.
Jeffrey Babbitt WCBS/Handout

(CBS) NEW YORK - A 62-year-old man died Monday after being attacked by complete stranger last week in Union Square in New York City, CBS New York reports.

Jeffrey Babbitt slipped into a coma and had been declared brain dead at Bellevue Hospital after he was allegedly beat by 31-year-old Lashawn Marten last week.

Babbitt, a retired train conductor, was reportedly walking in Union Square around 3 p.m. Wednesday when Marten allegedly shouted a racial comment and began attacking people.

"He said 'the next white person who walks by I'm going to [expletive],'" one female witness told CBS New York. "His fist went in and the man's head bobbed and he hit the ground and you could hear his skull hitting the ground."

Witnesses said Marten then hit two more people before demanding to see police officers. He remained at the scene until police arrived.

Marten, who is apparently homeless, was watching people play chess in the park and reportedly complained that nobody wanted to play chess with him prior to the attack, according to 1010 WINS' Carol D'Auria.

Police are investigating the attack as a possible hate crime, according to NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. Marten already faces felony assault charges.

Babbitt shared a Sheepshead Bay apartment with his 92-year-old mother. He was her primary caregiver.

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