Fight at Brooklyn gym leads to fatal attack

December 15, 2009 3:24:43 PM PST
A fight over an elliptical at a Brooklyn gym left a social worker murdered and two men on the run. The incident happened on Saturday, and one arrest was made Sunday night. But one of the suspects remains on the loose.

Authorities say 50-year-old Douglas Smith was beaten with a hammer and stabbed while he worked out at the East Flatbush gym. He died at Kings County Hospital Sunday morning.

"He was a gentle giant," Smith's father, 77-year-old Castello Smith, told the New York Daily News. "I wish I could have been with him. At least he would have been able to hear my voice. I would have said, 'Dougie, this is your daddy."

Witnesses say the incident began with an argument between the tall and well-built Smith and a smaller club member over a Nautilus machine. The fight was over who claimed first dibs on the machine.

Later, while Smith worked out, he was reportedly attacked by the man and a friend, stabbed three times in the back and hit in the head with the hammer.

Shawn Hing, 19, was arrested Sunday night and charged with second-degree murder. Hing, who is being held without bail, allegedly swung the hammer.

Smith was a social worker for a nonprofit that helps parolees and also worked as a bar bouncer. Published reports say he also got a master's degree in psychology within the past year, as well as reunited with a 19-year-old son he had been estranged from for seven years.