Harris J. Martin, 53, special agent in charge of the U.S. Secret Service's New York field office, and a former agent here, died Wednesday at a hospital in Toms River, N.J., after an apparent heart attack.

Mr. Martin worked on the White House detail of the Secret Service for a time during the early 1950s. He had joined the service in 1951. After working in both the Newark and New York field offices he returned to Washington in 1968 as assistant special agent in charge of the Washington field office.

In 1969 he became special agent in charge of the counterfeit division at Secret Service headquarters.

He then served as deputy assistant director in the service's offices of administration and investigation before being assigned to the New York office as special agent in charge in July 1977.

Mr. Martin was born in Newark, N.J., and earned a bachelor's degree at Upsala College in East Orange, N.J.

He served with the Army in Europe during World War II and was awarded the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth, and a daughter, Susan, both of the home in Wharton, N.J.