NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force Investigating Union Square Attack

The suspect attacked a 62-year-old man and two other people in Union Square

NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating after a man allegedly declared he would attack the first white person he came across, then punched and knocked out a 62-year-old man in Union Square Wednesday. 

LaShawn Marten, 31, of Morningside Heights, is accused of attacking three people in the busy plaza Wednesday afternoon, according to the NYPD. Police said the suspect, who is black, punched the 62-year-old white man in the face, causing serious injuries. The suspect then punched a 48-year-old person and an 18-year-old person, both also white. 

The 62-year-old victim was being treated for critical injuries at Bellevue Hospital, police said. He slipped into a coma after the attack, police say. 

The suspect "made statements to the effect that ‘I’m going to punch the first white man that I see,'" Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

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