FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 1, 2019
Brooklyn Man Indicted on Multiple Counts of Murder, including as a Hate Crime, For Allegedly Killing Three Asian Men in Hammer Attack
Allegedly Targeted Sheepshead Bay Restaurant Workers Based on their Race;
Defendant Faces Life in Prison Without the Possibility of Parole
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 34-year-old Brooklyn man has been arraigned on a 21-count indictment in which he is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder as a hate crime and related charges for allegedly bludgeoning three Asian men on January 15, 2019, causing their death.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This was a violent, horrific and harrowing attack on three completely innocent, hardworking men who were targeted simply because they were Asian. Sheepshead Bay, like all of Brooklyn, celebrates its diversity and will not tolerate vicious, hate-filled attacks in its community. I am committed to seeking justice for these three victims and their heartbroken families, friends and neighbors.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant Arthur Martunovich, 34, of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on a 21-count indictment in which he is charged with three counts of first-degree murder, six counts of second-degree murder as a hate crime, six counts of second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, two counts of second-degree assault and two counts of third-degree assault. The defendant was ordered held without bail and to return to court on March 4, 2019. He faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of the top count.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on January 15, 2019, at approximately 5:11 p.m., the defendant allegedly entered the Seaport Buffet Chinese restaurant on Emmons Avenue in Brooklyn armed with a hammer. He allegedly told a Latino employee that he was not going to be harmed, then struck the Asian victims repeatedly about the head with a hammer. He allegedly told the police he targeted the victims because of their race.
All three men were taken to Lutheran Medical Center, where one of the victims, a chef, Fufai Pun, 34, was pronounced dead. Pun was the nephew of Tsz Mat Pun, 50, who was part owner of the restaurant, who was also attacked. He died on January 24, 2019. The restaurant manager, Thang Ng, 60, died on January 18, 2019. All of the men died of blunt force injuries to the head.
The defendant was also indicted on assault charges for allegedly attacking two police officers while inside the 61st Precinct Stationhouse following his arrest.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Howard Jackson, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Yi Liu, of the District Attorney’s Green Zone Trial Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Timothy Gough, Homicide Bureau Chief.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt