Police are investigating the assault of three people in Union Square earlier this week as a possible hate crime.
Authorities say it happened after Martin Redrick, also known as Lashawn Martin, began shouting racist threats.
"Apparently made statements to the effect that 'I'm going to punch the first white man I see,'" said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. "When two police officers arrived, he challenged them as well."
Sources identify the first man punched as 62-year-old Jeffrey Babbitt.
Police say he walked himself to the ambulance after the attack, but his condition has gone downhill in recent days.
NY1 is told he's now unconscious and unresponsive at Bellevue Hospital.