What to Know
- Man arrested in connection with Brooklyn hammer rampage last month was charged with a hate crime and murder, among other charges, DA says
- Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced Arthur Martunovich, of Brooklyn, was arraigned on a 21-count indictment
- Martunovich is accused of allegedly bludgeoning three men on Jan. 15, 2019, causing their death
The 34-year-old man arrested in connection with the Brooklyn hammer rampage last month was charged with a hate crime and murder, among a myriad of other charges, the district attorney announced Friday.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced Arthur Martunovich, of Brooklyn, was arraigned on a 21-count indictment in which he is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder as a hate crime and related charges for allegedly bludgeoning three men on Jan. 15, 2019, causing their death.
In all, Martunovich was charged with three counts of first-degree murder, six counts of second-degree murder as a hate crime, six counts of second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, two counts of second-degree assault and two counts of third-degree assault, the district attorney said.
He was also indicted on assault charges for allegedly attacking two police officers following his arrest.
Martunovich was ordered held without bail and to return to court March 4.
He faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of the top count.
Attorney information for Martunovich was not immediately available.
Prosecutors say that, on Jan. 15 at about 5:11 p.m., Martunovich allegedly entered the Seaport Buffet Chinese restaurant on Emmons Avenue in Brooklyn armed with a hammer where allegedly told a Latino employee that he was not going to be harmed, but then struck three Asian victims repeatedly on the head head with a hammer. All of the men died of blunt force injuries to the head, prosecutors say.
He allegedly told the police he targeted the victims because of their race.
Following the vicious attack, the three victims were taken to Lutheran Medical Center, where Fufai Pun, 34, a chef at the restaurant, was pronounced dead, prosecutors say, adding that Pun was the nephew of Tsz Mat Pun, 50, who was part owner of the restaurant. They say he was also attacked and died Jan. 24. The restaurant manager, Thang Ng, 60, died Jan. 18.
“This was a violent, horrific and harrowing attack on three completely innocent, hardworking men who were targeted simply because they were Asian. Sheepshead Bay, like all of Brooklyn, celebrates its diversity and will not tolerate vicious, hate-filled attacks in its community,” Gonzalez said. “I am committed to seeking justice for these three victims and their heartbroken families, friends and neighbors.”