NEW YORK — A man police say punched a 62-year-old New York City man in a park after threatening to "punch the first white man" he saw denies race played a role in the assault.
Lashawn Marten told the Daily News ( ) in a jailhouse interview Thursday he's punched people of various races and doesn't target anyone. http://nydn.us/18gXdbW
Authorities say Jeffrey Babbitt died after he was struck, fell backward and hit his head last week in Union Square Park.
Babbitt is white. Marten is black.
The 31-year-old Marten declined to discuss details of the alleged attack but asked to see an autopsy report and a death certificate.
Marten is being held on an assault charge, but upgraded charges are possible.
A lawyer for Marten was not immediately available for comment.
Information from: Daily News, http://www.nydailynews.com