[Update Below] An 86-year-old woman has died after allegedly being struck by a younger woman for not social distancing at a hospital in Brooklyn this weekend.
A police spokesperson says that the incident happened around 2 p.m. this past Saturday at NYC Health and Hospitals/Woodhull in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Police say victim Janie Marshall was involved in an altercation with a 32-year-old woman which culminated with the woman shoving Marshall to the ground. She hit her head on the floor and briefly lost consciousness. A few hours later, while she was still waiting for a CT scan, she was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The Daily News reports that Marshall, who was at the hospital for a bowel obstruction, had "innocently grabbed a metal stand in a hallway" near a bed where the alleged assailant, whom they identify as Cassandra Lundy, was sitting. The Post adds that Lundy allegedly told a hospital officer that she did it because Marshall “didn’t stay more than six feet away.”
A police spokesperson told the Washington Post that the “overriding belief” is that Lundy snapped because she didn’t think the victim was following “social distancing guidelines."
Lundy was issued a summons for disorderly conduct by "hospital police," the Post and News report, then escorted out of the hospital. The Medical Examiner's Office will determine Marshall’s cause of death; if it is ruled a homicide, Lundy could face upgraded charges.
Sources also told the News that the hospital didn’t contact the NYPD until almost five hours after Marshall died. A source told the Post that delay was because Woodhull is swamped with patients due to coronavirus.
In a statement, Health and Hospitals said, "We are committed to ensuring a safe, health-focused environment in these very demanding times so our heroic health care workers can continue to deliver the quality, compassionate care New Yorkers need more than ever. We are collaborating with the NYPD in their investigation.”
Friends noted that Marshall previously helped create Sunshine Community Garden on McKibbin Street and Graham Avenue, near her Williamsburg home. “It’s sad," Dealice Fuller, who chairs Brooklyn’s Community Board 1, told the News. “Something like that happens and you’d like the world to know that somebody contributed something.”
[Update, Thursday, April 2nd] Lundy has now been charged with manslaughter and assault in the death of Marshall.