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Lashawn Martin Says He Wasn’t Motivated by Hate in Killing White Man, He Targets Everyone

photo: Jefferson Siegel/New York Daily News

Lashawn Marten, 31, is being vilified as a hateful racist who punched and ultimately killed a white man for no reason other than his race, but Marten is defending himself by saying he punches everybody—not just white people.

“I’ve punched white people. I’ve punched brown people. I’ve punched Hispanic people,” Marten said in an exclusive interview with the Daily News from the prison ward at Bellevue Hospital, which is famous for its psychiatric services. “So what? I don’t target anyone.”

Before Marten hit Jeffrey Babbitt, 62, on Sept. 4 in Union Square, he allegedly called out, “I’m going to punch the first white man I see!”

After Marten hit Babbitt, his head hit the pavement and he lapsed into a coma. Babbitt, who was portrayed as a kind, caring man who took care of his Alzheimers-stricken mother, died Monday.

Asked about the attack, Marten told the Daily News, “Where’s the autopsy report? Where’s the death certificate?”

Apparently realizing it was not in his best interest to answer more questions, Marten then paraphrased a country song: “You’ve got to know when to fold ’em and know when to hold ’em. I’m saving those details for trial.”

Held in lieu of $1 million bail for a felony assault, Marten is likely to have his charges upgraded after Babbitt’s death, law enforcement sources told the Daily News.

“You think I’m afraid of these charges?” Marten said. “I punched a police officer in Newburgh in front of a crowd of people and all his colleagues and I was out of jail in 168 hours,” he said.

The Daily News found a possible record of that incident, when Marten served six months behind bars in 1997.


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