Prosecutors indict hateful hammer attack suspect with ‘very strong’ evidence
A Brighton Beach man faces the rest of his life in prison for bludgeoning three men to death, a crime instigated by his racial bias against Asian men, according to newly released court documents.
Arthur Martunovich was arraigned through a closed circuit video feed from Bellevue Hospital’s psychiatric ward on Friday on a 21-count indictment for the murders of Fufai Pun, Kheong Ng-Thang and Tsz Mat Pun.
Martunovich, 34, walked out of his Cass Place apartment on Jan. 15, armed with a hammer and an intolerance toward Asian men — both elements for the top charges of three counts of first-degree murder.
“Yes, Chinese men are awful. They hold their women captive,” Martunovich told a police officer shortly after the gruesome attack.
Martunovich headed to the Seafood Buffet on Emmons Avenue in Sheepshead Bay, where he was captured on video beating the three men — the owner, the manager and the chef — to death.
“It is an understatement that the amount of evidence we have is very strong,” said Assistant District Attorney Howard Jackson in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Friday.
At least one eyewitness saw the attack, where Fufai Pun, 32, was pronounced dead at the scene. Ng-Thang, 60, died on Jan. 18, and Tsz Mat Pun, 50, died on Jan. 24.
Martunovich’s attorney Edward Mandery, who was at the hospital with his client, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez was in attendance for the arraignment in Justice Danny Chun’s courtroom.
“This was a violent, horrific and harrowing attack on three completely innocent, hardworking men who were targeted simply because they were Asian,” said Gonzalez. “Sheepshead Bay, like all of Brooklyn, celebrates its diversity and will not tolerate vicious, hate-filled attacks in its community.”
Martunovich remained handcuffed in a chair behind a glass partition and gazed into the camera, nodding his head as Justice Chun read out each count of the indictment.
Mandery requested that Martunovich undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine if he’s mentally fit for trial.
Martunovich has history of mental illness, which can prolong the process of the case, said Gonzalez.
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