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Racial tensions rise as second black-on-white assault makes NYC waves

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Police in New York City on Tuesday were seeking to arrest a black man in his 30s on assault charges, after witnesses reported him smashing in the face of a white male victim and shouting a racial slur as they rode a bus through Harlem.

The suspect, captured on bus videotape and described as 5 foot 11 inches and about 185 pounds, reportedly passed a rider on the M60 bus as it traveled through Harlem. He then shouted the racial slur and punched the victim, a 31-year-old man in the face, The New York Post reported.

The victim suffered a broken nose and eye socket, and was treated at a nearby hospital, The Post said.

The incident was most notable for its racial overtones.

It's the second such random black-on-white crime in recent days to make city press sit up and take notice. Last Wednesday, a 62-year-old man, Jeffrey Babbitt, was punched and pushed to the ground in Union Square Park. He subsequently fell into a coma. The Post reported that on Monday, he was taken off life support and died.

He was attacked by a 31-year-old black suspect who screamed that he was going to "[expletive] up" the next white person he saw — and then grabbed Mr. Babbitt and slammed him so hard that witnesses say they heard his skull crack, The Post reported.

That attacker was arrested and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said his charges were being pursued as a hate crime.

The Post didn't specify if the Harlem attack was being investigated as a hate crime.

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