Violence in New York: Suspected of pushing Barbara Maier Gustern, 87, to death, surrenders to NYPD

NEW YORK – A woman wanted for allegedly pushing a beloved 87-year-old grandmother, who later died of her injuries in a random unprovoked attack in New York City, surrendered to police on Tuesday.

Lauren Pazienza, 26, of Long Island volunteered and was charged with manslaughter.

Barbara Maier Gustern, an active performer and voice coach, was finishing the rehearsal last Thursday night in Manhattan as the woman approached her from behind and pushed her to the ground.

Gustern suffered a serious head injury and was taken to hospital in critical condition.

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Police announced five days later that she had died as a result of her injuries.

A source close to the case told ABC New York affiliate WABC that Pazienza did not know the victim. The motive, if any, is still unclear.

Gustern was on his way to witness a student’s performance when the woman attacked her.

Gustern’s grandson, AJ, spoke to WABC on Monday.

“She’s the light of my life,” he said after flying in from Colorado to be with his grandmother at Bellevue Hospital. “I’m angry at the state of the world. I’m angry at the state of the city.”

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