Lashawn Marten, 31, is now charged with manslaughter as a hate crime for the deadly Union Square Park attack.
He also has to undergo a psychiatric exam to determine if he is fit to stand trial.
Prosecutors say Marten punched 62-year-old Jeffrey Babbitt, who died after falling and hitting his head.
Marten faces up to life in prison if convicted.
In an earlier jailhouse interview, Babbitt told the New York Daily News he's not racist because he's punched people of various races.