Port Jefferson woman accused in fatal NYC push charged with manslaughter, assault
A Port Jefferson woman has been indicted in the death of an elderly woman in New York City.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced the indictment of Lauren Pazienza, 26, in the March death of 87-year-old Barbara Gustern, who died after being shoved to the ground.
Pazienza is charged with manslaughter in the first degree and assault in the second degree.
“This was a senseless and unprovoked attack,” said Bragg. “Barbara Gustern was a beloved vocal coach who lived a vibrant and active life at the age of 87, and her loss was felt deeply by many throughout the city. After allegedly walking away from Ms. Gustern as she laid on the ground bleeding, Lauren Pazienza went to great lengths to avoid accountability for her actions.”
According to court documents, Pazienza crossed the street, shouted obscenities at Gustern, and then intentionally shoved her to the ground on March 10.
Gustern then fell in an arc directly on her head, causing a massive hemorrhage to the left side of her brain. Officials say Pazienza walked away and left Gustern on the ground bleeding from her head.
Gustern suffered a head injury and died five days later.
Prosecutors say Pazienza tried to avoid arrest by deleting her social media accounts - her online wedding registry - and not using her cellphone.