An elderly woman is dead after police say she was attacked by another hospital patient for not following “social distancing” recommendations in New York City.
The New York Daily News reported Janie Marshall, 86, was admitted to Bedford-Stuyvesant’s Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn with a bowel obstruction.
Marshall was walking in a hallway in the hospital on March 28 when she innocently stopped and grabbed a metal stand.
That is when a 32-year-old woman in a nearby room lashed out and allegedly attacked Marshall.
Cassandra Lundy allegedly punched Marshall in the head, causing her to fall to the ground, according to police.
The New York Post reported the fall caused the elderly woman to crack her head on the floor.
Marshall was pronounced dead four hours later, Daily News reported.
The outlet said the motive for the alleged attack was that Marshall wasn’t following coronavirus social distancing guidelines.
The Post reported Lundy was upset that Marshall “didn’t stay more than 6 feet away,” according to police.
Hospital staff waited more than five hours after Marshall’s death to report the incident to police, the report said. The delay was blamed on the fact that Woodhull is swamped with patients because of the coronavirus pandemic.
As of Wednesday, Lundy was not in police custody; she was merely was cited for disorderly conduct.
However, if Marshall’s autopsy determines the attack — which was captured on video — caused her death, Lundy could face homicide charges, police told the Daily News.
The report said Lundy has 17 prior arrests, including drug possession, trespassing, assault and strangulation.
Marshall’s death could be the city’s first coronavirus-related homicide.
An 86-year-old woman died at Woodhull Hospital Saturday after a 32-year-old fellow patient allegedly shoved her to the ground for not practicing social distancing. https://t.co/GkS0DtrAPI
— Brooklyn Paper (@brooklynpaper) March 30, 2020
Her neighbors are remembering her as a selfless woman who spent her life helping others and working for the betterment of her community.
Marshall was credited with helping to found a community garden in her Williamsburg, Brooklyn, neighborhood in 1991.
“She would always ask me if she could do something for me,” a neighbor of Marshall’s told the Post after learning of her death.
“It just goes to show, you never know,” a neighbor told the Daily News. “You don’t ever know what’s going to happen to you. You could be walking down the hall and someone hits you in the hospital.”
Another neighbor said the 86-year-old was a “very nice person,” and added, “What a shame.”
New York City Health and Hospitals, which operates the Woodhull Hospital, released a statement about the attack.
“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,” it said. “We are collaborating with the NYPD in their investigation.”
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