On Wednesday, a man was arrested in Union Square after allegedly attacking three people in broad daylight without provocation. According to police, suspect LaShawn Marten, 31, has been charged with assault in the incident, which occurred around 2:45 p.m. that afternoon. Cops confirmed that Marten punched the victim in the face, causing his head to hit the ground; the victim then lapsed into a coma at Bellevue Hospital. Police are now investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

According to sources, Marten had been playing chess in the Square before the incident; he jumped up allegedly shouting "I hate white people," then struck the first victim (it's unclear whether he was playing the victim in chess or not). According to witness Joey Boots, who came upon the scene after the initial incident, Marten then fought with two other men who came to the victim's aide.

Boots—along with other Union Square witnesses and at least one of the other victims—was interviewed by police about the incident yesterday. Boots told us cops have surveillance video (from across the street) that shows the incident: "You can see the guy getting up, taking his shirt off then putting it back on, looking agitated." He added that police believe the first victim may die due to swelling on the brain.