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Cops: Suspect Punched Man After Making Racial Comments On Harlem Bus

Police: Suspect Made 'Anti-White Comments' Before Striking Man
Harlem Bias Attack Suspect

A surveillance image of a suspect who allegedly made “anti-white comments” before striking a man on a bus in Harlem. (Credit: NYPD)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police on Monday were searching for a man who allegedly made statements of racial bias before attacking a man on a bus in Harlem late last month.

The attack happened around 2:45 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30, police said. The M60 bus was headed west near 437 W. 127th St. when the man made “anti-white statements” and struck the man in the face, leaving him with a fractured nose and eye socket, police said.

The suspect was described as a black male about 35 to 40 years old, standing 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 185 pounds.

Police have released a surveillance photo of the suspect.

Anyone with information was asked to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS, log onto the Crime Stoppers Web site, or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and enter TIP577.

News of the Harlem attack came just days after what was described as a bias attack that left a man brain dead in Union Square Park.

Last Wednesday, Lashawn Marten, 31, was watching people play chess in the park and reportedly complained that nobody wanted to play chess with him. Then, he allegedly said he would punch “the next white person” he saw, and began attacking people.

“He said ‘the next white person who walks by I’m going to [expletive],’” one woman told CBS 2′s Dave Carlin. “His fist went in and the man’s head bobbed and he hit the ground and you could hear his skull hitting the ground.”

The victim the woman mentioned was Jeffrey Babbitt, 62, who had been minding his own business as he walked through the crowd near the chess boards when Marten allegedly attacked.

Babbitt, a retired train conductor, was taken to Bellevue Hospital. Family and friends said that he is in a coma and has been declared brain-dead.

Marten continued his rampage before he demanded to see police officers and was arrested. Witnesses said three people in total attacked.

Because of Marten’s alleged comments about targeting white people the incident could result in hate crime charges in addition to felony assault charges, according to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

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