Southern Brooklyn

Sheepshead Man Brain Dead After Attack In Union Square

Jeffrey Babbitt in a recent photo taken by neighbor Robert Pizzimenti, via Newsday.
Jeffrey Babbitt in a recent photo taken by neighbor Robert Pizzimenti, via Newsday.

Sheepshead Bay resident Jeffrey Babbitt was the victim of an alleged hate crime last week when he was assaulted by an enraged man, leaving him brain dead. CBS News reported that the perpetrator of the horrific act attacked two others before surrendering to the police.

Babbitt, 62, is a retired train conductor living with his 94-year-old mother, Lucille, in Sheepshead Bay. CBS described the scene when the assailant, identified as 31-year-old Lashawn Marten, began his attack:

Babbitt was minding his own business as he walked through the crowd near the chess boards in Union Square when a man made a hateful announcement and began his rampage, witnesses said.

“He said ‘the next white person who walks by I’m going to [expletive],’” one woman said. “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 man continued his rampage before demanding to see police officers.

“He stood there and hit two more people and asked for the police to come,” Michael Benson said.

Stunned witnesses counted a total of three people attacked. The suspect, Lashawn Marten, 31, remained at the scene until police arrived…

Witnesses said they were amazed at the brazen, public nature of the assault.

“This is such a crowded area. You’d expect it in a back alley, but there are so many people here. That’s the strange part,” Garrett Browning said.

A report by Gothamist described Marten’s violent history as well as his unstable constitution which led to a tense confrontation with the judge setting his bail:

Police say Marten has a prior conviction for assault in NY, and the he has numerous other prior arrests, mostly out of state. When he was arraigned Thursday night, DNAInfo report he mocked the judge and asked that his bail be set at one penny—in response, the judge set bail at $1 million.

While the other victims suffered relatively minor injuries, Babbitt was taken to Bellevue Hospital, suffering from a coma. Doctors have declared him brain dead leaving friends of Babbitt heartbroken and distraught.

“I don’t believe that. I don’t know why that happened. He is very nice,” friend Igor Sapozhnikov told CBS.

Correction (9:34 a.m.):  A previous version of this post stated that Babbitt’s mother was named Hedda and that she was 92-years-old. More recent reports have stated that her name is Lucille and that she is 94-years-old. We have changed the post to reflect this information.

Comment policy


  1. I felt so bad when I heard about this senseless act on TV. The fact that he is from this area makes me even feel worse. Some people shouldn’t even be on the street.

    A few weeks ago, while waiting on line at a Cyclones game, one man started yelling at another one with such animosity that I was worried the situation would escalate and it could have resulted in what happened at Union Square. Luckily, a police officer came over and pulled the man out of line and had a long talk with him. Glad to see he was doing his job and may have prevented a potential tragedy.

  2. Note, no national coverage…. Wonder why? Treyvon Martin, 2 years of coverage, white victim of hate crime, page 20 of the local paper. Wake up, white peeps, you’re life is not important to the media or the leadership of America. White folk, have to start organizing marches and protests, our civil rights are being trampled by black folk on a daily basis. a White MLK is needed, we are becoming the silent victims of racism in a daily basis

  3. its strange – that this happened in broad daylight, in front of a crowd, and especially given the fact that Union Square Police Precinct is right there, under ground with cops being all over the place, at all times……. Its incredibly sad that this occurred.

  4. I was very sad after I read this article. A normal New Yorker walking through one of the better neighborhoods in NYC just to get attacked by yet another black thug – not being racist here at all just stating the facts. Now innocent man is declared brain dead and where are all the black activists…where is the degenerate Al Sharpton and all the other clowns? Whenever something happens to a black person they are the first ones to pop up and point a finger and scream racism even though for the most part whatever happened was completely justified…where is the circus now that an innocent white man was pretty much killed by yet another black criminal? When will this country wake up an stop being “politically correct” and start saying things and seeing things for what they really are? FACTS: Majority of the crimes in NY are committed by black people, majority of the violent crimes are committed by black people, majority of thefts are committed by black people, majority of the population in the prison systems consists of black people, majority of the unemployed population in NY consists of black people, majority of the uneducated population in NY consists of black people – are we going to keep being ignorant and slowly destroy the things that at one point made USA the greatest country in the world and NYC the greatest city, or will we keep living in fear and listening to mindless blabber of the political clowns who keep playing the racism card?

  5. Disgusting! This piece of garbage should be shot. And the fact that no one is making a stink about this when Al Sharpton and his gang of lowlifes marches when a black man is looked at the wrong way proves this country is backwards.

  6. Why would a white MLK be an imperial wizard. MLK was not a black supremacist he simply pointed out the unfairness that afflicted black people and he wanted everyone to get along. A white MLK would point out the unharnesses afflicting white people and would want everyone to get along. Really anyone who speaks the truth white or black, would fit the bill.

  7. Wait! hold on! let me go get my popcorn, and then you can tell me all about how whites lose out to blacks and other non-whites in everyday life. Make sure to quote the statistics of the overwhelming white population in the prison system. While you are at it, please tell me about how the black man has been keeping you white folks down, Im just dying to know how whites are becoming the silent victims of racism. By all means do, just let me get a soda too. thx .

  8. How about instead of complaining let’s advocate for a Conceal Carry Permits so next time one of these thugs violently chimps out somebody will Trayvon the thug with a couple of center mass hits. Guaranteed 50% or better drop in random violent street crime. When thugs know nobody’s armed they will do what they please with impunity.

  9. This is really not the kind news story where sarcasm is necessary but okay. How do white lose out to blacks? Because they get assaulted and killed on a daily basis that’s how. Because in many public schools white and Asian kids do not feel that they can learn in a safe environment. Because the media systematically ignores the issue of black on white crimes and plays up single instances of white on black crimes in an attempt to create a fictional perspective. From your posts I am guessing you support black on white crimes and are plainly against the message of MLK.

  10. You’re an idiot Mary… So politically correct, you’re brain is damaged from it… Dimes to donuts you watch MSNBC all day, like a zombie

  11. Can you read.? He hated WHITE people…. Is hate a mental illness? In that case the very rare case of white on black crime based on race can be attributed to mental illness as well

  12. I’m 41 years old, grew up when NY was dangerous in the 80’s… I have never actually felt endangered because I’m white in my entire life, now I do…. Good job lefties

  13. thank you for your condescension, to take time out from your busy fox news watching schedule in order to reply to my comments.

    but while we are on the subject, i watch al jazeera. There! have some red meat !

  14. Go back to MSNBC, you self loathing idiot. The moderator may delete my posts, but I will keep coming back. Political correctness and self loathing whites must be mocked 24/7

  15. Please take your head out of your racist rear… and understand, that just because you hate people of another color, you do not go and attack them all randomly. And that is what the problem here is. the lack of mental health help. The attacker was not of sound mind.
    Now you on the other hand – the fact that you feel less safe now than you did in the 80’s… Now, a time where NYC is the safest urban area in the US of A. In this safe place is when you feel somehow under attack? Perhaps you should make an appointment with a therapist to take care of that paranoia. I’m not speaking sarcastically for a change, but there does seem to be some unresolved issue that you are spilling all over the place.

  16. I am an idiot?? That is real nice. ..Yet you are the one under mind control??
    Maybe he did say he hated white people, I dont know, but a random attack like that is not usually from hate.
    That is why I think he may be ill….
    .What I see he said was that he would “punch the next white person who bumped into him without saying excuse me.”..

  17. Don’t have Cable TV, why would I watch Fox news.. I don’t believe in the left right paradigm, but I will tell you , self loathing whites like you are going to destroy this country and I will never stop mocking and exposing people like you. Whites are attacked 19 times more by blacks than the other way around…. Most racism in this country is BLACK RACISM, FACT, and I only deal with facts, not feelings. I’m embarrassed you own cats, I’m a cat advocate and protector as well

  18. LOL… Blacks attack whites, its mental illness, white attack blacks it’s racism. You’re beyond reason, you’re brainwashed….. Blacks attack whites 19 times more than the other way around. Get you’;re little MSNBC propaganda drenched head around these facts. YOU ARE THE RACIST, NOT me. You will not acknowledge whites are victims of racism more than blacks… Has to do with you’re self loathing of your own people. I know you’re white and liberal. Only liberal whites are this stupid

  19. yes we are. The aliens have come down and plugged in the liberal-lefty-commie chips in our heads. Now we are all zombies, here to eat you!!!! bwahahahaha

  20. LOL, typical lib zombie obsessed with Fox News.. Do you have your Treyvon hoodie on? Self loathing libtard? Again this was a RACIST attack, he only threatened WHITE PEOPLE, not “People who don’t say excuse me” , WHITE PEOPLE WHO DO NOT SAY EXCUSE ME”.. No matter how Al Sharpton, Randi Rhodes, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, tell you how to spin this.. IT IS A RACIST ATTACK. Whites are under attack in America. Read this book, you might learn something. WE ARE UNDER ATTACK

  21. You sound like a typical white liberal, in denial of black racism, blacks are not in denial of black racism. Blacks will tell you, that their people are very racist… They are real at least. White liberals are in a fantasy world

  22. Rule #3: Know your target and what’s beyond it. Think backstops. I’m sure the brain dead guy feels the same way you do: “Thank god I didn’t have a gun to protect myself and avoid shooting the aggressor, otherwise I might have to defend myself in front of all these people.” Solid logic, Willie. I’m sure cops who shot some guy with a gun a couple of years ago on 34th St right by Rockefeller Center wished they didn’t have guns so they could just talk to the guy. You’re a genius — keep blaming the victims and not the perps.

  23. tell me, but before you answer, promise me to think real hard, but at what time did i ever say, imply, allude or (apparently) telepathically tell you that black racism is a myth? No one is denying its existence. The problem with this particular story is that – a. the assailant was black, the victims were white. B. the crime will be treated as a hate crime as it should be. C. but the particulars of the attack, although hateful, also show some one who is not in his right mind. Not every racist goes on a rampage.
    Not every xenophobe is out there randomly hitting people who come across his path , be he/she white or black, or asian, or whatever.

  24. I agree, when I turn 62 one day, I hope that when I’m punched in the head by a total stranger out of nowhere in the middle of Union Square, I have the right to pull my gun, aim and fire at the guy who punched me in a crowd of a thousand before I fall to the ground and die.

    I also hope that if I fail to execute that maneuver, someone pulls out a gun at the first sound of a crazy person threatening to punch people on the street. It’s not like such an action would cause a riot in a heavily trafficked tourist section of the city.

  25. I have no idea. I just think sometimes people get attacked randomly by crazy people. I don’t think the idea that everyone being armed is going to stop crazy people from doing crazy things.

  26. how do u know its my cat?
    u seem to operate on assumptions quiet a lot. be careful with those, its how racism begins.

  27. If everyone is armed then the crazy people can go on shooting sprees and when untrained citizens attempt to shoot the crazies down more innocent people get killed. Next armed groups of vigilantes decide to “get those responsible”. Blood pours in the streets and everyone has a real fun time. Next week, they can do it again.

    You see where I am going, the Draft Riots Of 1863 every week.

  28. What are you talking about? I saw him just ten day ago, He was happy and alive. He was planning to celebrate Rosh Hashanah with his mother. And now. Where are our leaders? Where are the loudest advocates for justice. We became a society of political correctness. Who is next?

  29. 100 million gun owners in the US and i never hear of stories of shootouts in the streets unless they are drug dealers killing each other. Which means they are breaking the law.

  30. You are right about one thing. You cant stop crazy people from doing crazy things and no matter what anyone does there will still be crazy people. So why disarm normal people and put them at a disadvantage? This was totally random and even if he had a gun it probably would not of helped. But again someone could’ve put a stop to it before someone else got hurt or killed. I wonder what the actual response time was for the “first responders” to get there.

  31. A liberal is really just a republican that hasnt been mugged or worse raped. Hope it never happens to you but if someone ever tries to assault you in any way make sure to ask them to wait a sec while you call for help.

  32. you do realize, i hope, that rape and theivery happens in even the richest, and dare i say, republican, parts of society?

  33. I was mugged, and even physically attacked on a train during a seventies version of “wilding”. That did not change my attitude.

    Don’t think that every is so narrow in their focus that they lose their objectivity because they are victims of something they were already aware of. There are some vicious people out there. Some of them have guns. Brilliant, a subway shootout where innocent people get killed.

    You know how Huey Long died? He was accidentally shot by his bodyguards as he was being defended against an attack from a deranged man with a pistol.

  34. Woody Guthrie said it best, I think.

    “As through this world I’ve wandered

    I’ve seen lots of funny men;

    Some will rob you with a six-gun,

    And some with a fountain pen”

  35. […] Yesterday, we reported on the incident that put Babbitt in a coma that eventually led to his death. Babbitt, a retired train conductor, was walking through Union Square last Wednesday when Marten announced his intention to attack a white person. Babbitt was struck and fell to the pavement, cracking his skull. He was bleeding heavily and was subsequently declared brain dead at Bellevue Hospital. A recent report by CBS noted that Marten is homeless and started to complain that nobody wanted to play chess with him, leading to his outburst. The Times went into further detail on Marten’s life: […]

  36. Huey Long died from a gun shot wound by one of his opponents sons. Being shot by his bodyguards was pure speculation and never proven. You meanwhile say it like it was a fact written in stone and would make people believe something is true when you have no evidence to back up what you say. Thats the biggest issue with gun rights. All you anti gunners have opinions and emotions but zero facts to back anything you say. You SHOOT your mouth off and try to scare people. All a normal person has to do these days is search online for 5 minutes and get all the factual data.

  37. The scare tactics are done by people who try to induce a society where people are dangerously armed. You are the people that take information and distort it so that a climate of fear exists, justification of your own right to have a gun, in a society that is trying to become more civilized.

    As far as facts in the Huey Long assassination, there is enough logical information to draw that conclusion. Of course, in your presentation there are no incompetent people out there using guns. The ability to use a gun properly is instinctive, even a chimpanzee can do so instinctively and effectively.

  38. It will cause a riot?? So now you’re appeasing the low lifes and thugs? Why would anybody care about a riot? And by the way a certain part of the population will riot about anything, they just need an excuse to steal themselves a flat screen TV. Nice white guilt there, Willie. And the victim died while the homeless thug now has 3 square meals and a warm bed for the rest of his life on the taxpayer dime. Ain’t justice grand?

  39. I’m talking about the kind of riot that happens when people start shooting in crowds of thousands of people. You know, when people stampede each other, get shot accidentally and piss their pants?

    Also, again you make a brilliant point assuming that all homeless people are better off living in a prison.

  40. Its people like you that try to scare others by saying that if people were armed there would be shoot outs in the streets and more people would die. You have no facts to back any of your claims and try to scare people into believing lies. Fact is there are over 100 million gun owners and over 300 million guns in this country and the only places that have shootouts everyday are places where guns are restricted or outright banned (Chicago).

    As for Huey Long you say “there is enough logical information to draw that conclusion” but no facts to back them so its just your opinion. Who said a gun was easy to use or a monkey could use one properly? Again you say things that were never said and try to scare people by trying to make them think a gun owner said that but never did. You say you want a civilized society without guns. How about an armed society is a polite one.

  41. I actually think that’s why he did it. The summer is over and he probably didn’t want to spend the winter outside. Too bad he miscalculated and the guy is dead. The homeless was probably hoping for a 6 month sentence for assault to get out just in time for the next summer. If you’re scared of prison doesn’t mean everybody is. It isn’t the Gulag or a forced labor camp (maybe we need more of those actually).

  42. No, I give up, I can’t think of single example from history where someone fired a gun in a very crowded area and panic and mayhem didn’t ensue.

  43. Stop trying to imagine what a deranged homeless man was thinking.

    Also now you are in favor in Gulags. Please stop posting.

  44. I dared him. And yet I’m still posting… Now I double dog dare you, Willie. Go ahead and deny me my god given right — the freedom of speech. You already want some other right taken away so why not the 1A?
    CNN does it all the time — Communist National Network is one of the gov approved news sources… don’t be like them.

  45. Never good to dare people who have ability to blank out comments on a website. They may act merely out of sheer orneriness. And then remind all of us that the Internet is not a democracy.

  46. And in essence, it’s not.

    Neither is the press in general, in a real sense. The New York Times, or the New York Post is under no obligation to print your letter to the editor. Such considerations do go beyond limitations of space.

  47. And I have the ability to stop coming to this site and tell everyone that they are deleting unfavorable posts. That will result with them getting less traffic since the more comments I post the more traffic I generate — there’s only so many times one can read the same article, the people really come back for the comments, less traffic means less revenue from ads and so on. I can get news in other ways. So they probably need us more than we need them, and that’s the truth. He wants to bully me, it’s fine, it’s the “internets” after all, he wouldn’t dare say anything abrasive to me in person, I bet he’s a really nice guy in person and that’s awesome, wish everyone were nice on and offline.

  48. Did you read any of those articles? No proof of gun shots and it was during the 4th of July in both cases in Philly. Other is drug cartels in Mexico. Again no facts just scary looking articles that you didnt read.

  49. That story is about racial profiling not self defense. Those times you were assaulted, did you defend yourself, give them money or what?

  50. God Given Right????? No. Thank the “founding fathers” of this country’s constitution. There are plenty of countries that operate on “god given rights” that do not allow free speech. But I agree, you should be able to say whatever pops into that head of yours, provided it does not incite panic.

  51. Actually, a lot of people grow weary from this back and forth. In case you haven’t noticed this is a complacent society, where serious opinions are the province of very few.

    Much as I disagree with you and a number of others you all deserve credit for least having an opinion.

  52. From the cited article, toward the end:

    I didn’t buy a gun, though several well-wishers seemed to think that night would’ve ended better if I’d been armed and had initiated a saloon-style shootout in the middle of the street.

    In my 40-some years, I’ve done all 3: comply, flee and fight. I will concede that I consider myself very lucky. The actual fight happened only twice (both times when I was young and stupid). I did bluff a couple of times, and at least once the cops were actually at the right place at the right time for a change. All things considered, I sleep well at night.

  53. The loonies are coming out of the woodwork in droves. Whether it’s some right wingnuts who want to bring us back to the Hoover era or mentally disturbed people with no political agenda just an ill conceived personal one. Meanwhile the NYPD is busy shooting up innocent bystanders in Times Square because they can’t even aim properly at their intended suspect (victim) and can’t even consider using non-lethal force such as a TASER. They never learned from the Eleanor Bumpers case in dealing with “EDPs”.

    This individual sounds like he fell through the cracks just like the DC Navy Yard shooter. The result of Government budget cuts forced upon us all by a Repukelican congress of no-nothings and do-nothings. This is the price we all pay for the right wing viciousness, miserliness and obstructionism. Disgusting all around.

  54. A delusional and irresponsible man is what he was. What’s more irresponsible is the lack of foresight that may have prevented this guy from going on a rampage. You just want to pin everything on black people to justify your racist attitudes. You ARE racist. That’s plain as the clear blue sky that all of us humans live under. A human being with a serious problem did this. He should have been under treatment not been treated by people like you as a product of his skin color. Attitudes like yours presented to him is what drove him over the edge.

  55. […] As we previously reported, the attack on Babbitt took place on September 4. The 62-year-old Babbitt was a retired train operator who frequented Union Square often to visit his friends at the Forbidden Planet comic book store, where he was a beloved regular. Tragedy struck when 31-year-old Lashawn Marten announced to the crowded park that he was going to attack the first white person he saw. Babbitt just happened to be walking by when he received a blow from Marten that crashed him to the ground, cracking his skull and effectively ceasing his brain activity. Babbitt subsequently died at Bellevue Hospital, leaving behind his 94-year-old mother Lucille, who he cared for in their Sheepshead Bay apartment located on Ocean Avenue. […]


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