Lauren Pazienza Port Jefferson, NY woman turns herself in for pushing Barbara Gustern NYC vocal coach to her death in unprovoked attack. Suspect’s lawyer claims there is no evidence linking her to attack, prosecutors argue otherwise…
Why …? A Long Island events coordinator on Tuesday turned herself into authorities following the death of an 87-year-old vocal coach who mortally succumbed to injuries sustained after being shoved onto a Manhattan street two weeks ago.
Lauren Pazienza, 26, was in custody for the death of Barbara Gustern, a beloved Broadway vocal coach who died on March 15, five days after being pushed over in what police say was a random attack.
Come Tuesday afternoon, the event coordinator was charged with manslaughter and second degree assault the dailymail reported. Bail was set at $500,000, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
Gustern was walking towards a cab outside her Chelsea apartment building when she was hit from behind along West 28th Street around 8 p.m on March 10th. She was helped back to her feet by a cyclist and was taken to the hospital ‘covered in blood’ after hitting her head on the cement, but died four days later.
According to The New York Times, Gustern was awake initially after the attack, and told a friend at the scene, ‘I’ve never been hit so hard in my life.’ She also reportedly told police that her assailant ‘shouted a derogatory term before assaulting her,’ though the details of that term have not been released.
This just happened in Chelsea. @NYPDnews says 26yo Lauren Pazienza turned herself in. She covered her face with her hair as officers led her out of the 10th pct. She’s accused of pushing and killing 87yo Barbara Gustern. pic.twitter.com/hCFBwbSrFo
— Erica Byfield (@EricaByfield4NY) March 22, 2022
Unprovoked random attack
The NYPD released photos of a red hairded young woman who they said may have been responsible for the attack. She appeared to be getting on the subway shortly afterwards. That woman has now been identified as Pazienza, who lives in Astoria, Queens, with her fiance, Naveen Pereira.
She is from Port Jefferson, Long Island.
Gustern’s family has not yet commented on her arrest.
Police do not believe Pazienza and Gustern were acquainted, and have called the ‘attack’ random and unprovoked according to deadline.
Deleted all social media, fled to her parent’s LI home
On March 10, Gustern – a beloved Broadway vocal coach – was walking towards a cab outside her apartment building in Chelsea when she was pushed from behind at 8.30pm.
Soon after the attack, prosecutors allege Pazienza going back home to Astoria, Queens, quitting her job at a store in Chelsea, deleting all social media along with taking down a website advertising her wedding this June.
The day after Gustern died, she allegedly fled for her parents’ home on Long Island, where she remained holed up the last two weeks according to prosecutors. It wasn’t until Tuesday morning that Pazienza handed herself in with her lawyer.
Suspect lawyer says there is no proof event coordinator pushed victim
Pazienza worked as an events coordinator for the furniture brand Roche Bobois, according to her now deleted LinkedIn page.
Not immediately clear was motivated the 26 year old in allegedly ‘shoving’ the 87 year old woman to the ground.
Her attorney told the dailymail on Tuesday that there was no proof that Pazienza pushed Gustern.
‘What they have is a photo of someone who looks like my client getting on the subway.
‘This attack did not happen on the subway,’ attorney Arthur Aidala told the tabloid. The lawyer said he would represent Pazienza in court Tuesday afternoon, where he intended to ask for bond. Bond was granted later that day at $500,000.
Services will be held for Gustern on Saturday, March 26, according to her Facebook page.