A man is reportedly in a coma and may be brain dead after authorities say a suspect who declared he was going to punch the first white person he saw knocked him to the ground Wednesday.
Authorities say John Babbitt, 62, who is white, was punched by 31-year-old Lashawn Marten in New York City's Union Square.
Two other people suffered injuries in the attack and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said detectives from the NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force are investigating the attacks.
Babbitt remains in serious condition at Bellevue Hospital.
"The prognosis is not good and it does appear that the victim will likely die," Manhattan Assistant District Attorney John Temple told The New York Daily News.
Friends of the victim told the newspaper Babbitt lives in Brooklyn and cares for his mother who suffers from Alzheimer's disease.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.