Mount Vernon Man Dies Days After Hitting Head on Ground During Fight; Death Probed as Possible Crime: Mayor

A Mount Vernon man has died after his head struck the ground during a fight Tuesday, and his death is being investigated as a possible hate crime, the mayor says. 

The 35-year-old man, Michael C. Jones, may have hit his head on a curb when he fell or was pushed during the fight on Eastchester Avenue, Mayor Richard Thomas said Thursday. 

Thomas hasn't said what prompted police to investigate it as a hate crime, saying only, "Those that seek to attack people to install fear in communities due to race, religion, or sexual orientation are cowards and will face justice. Mount Vernon is a city of inclusion and despicable acts of intimidation will not be tolerated." 

Friends of Jones said he'd gotten into a fight last week before the one on Tuesday that wound up being fatal.

Police officials said at a news conference Thursday they're exploring all avenues in the investigation. 

A medical examiner will determine the exact cause and manner of death. 

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