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NEW YORK (AP) Authorities say a 62-year-old New York City man is in critical condition after he was assaulted by a man who threatened to "punch the first white man I see."

The Daily News reports (http://nydn.us/17Gs1Rg ) that the assault happened Wednesday in Union Square Park. Police say 31-year-old Lashawn Marten punched 62-year-old Jeffrey Babbitt.

Babbitt fell backward and hit his head.

Babbitt is at Bellevue Hospital. Assistant District Attorney John Temple said at Marten's arraignment Thursday that the prognosis is not good.

Babbitt is white. Marten is black.

Officials said that after attacking Babbitt, Marten also attacked two men who tried to help the victim.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Friday that the department's hate crimes unit is investigating.

Information on an attorney for Marten was not available.

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Information from: Daily News, http://www.nydailynews.com