Woman, 26, surrenders in senseless fatal shove of 87-year-old Manhattan singing coach, charged with manslaughter
A suspect surrendered Tuesday to face charges for the senseless fatal shove of an 87-year-old singing coach in Manhattan, cops said.
Detectives charged Lauren Pazienza, 26, of Port Jefferson, L.I., with manslaughter and assault for allegedly pushing Barbara Maier Gustern to the ground on W. 28th St. near Eighth Ave. in Chelsea about 8:25 p.m. on March 10, cops said.
The beloved singing coach struck her head on the ground and suffered a traumatic brain injury. She died at Bellevue Hospital a few days later.
Police managed to track Pazienza’s movements to a nearby subway station where she was photographed by an MTA surveillance camera.
Pazienza surrendered after cops released the crystal clear surveillance images and asked the public’s help identifying her.
Her arraignment is pending in Manhattan Criminal Court .
Gustern coached Blondie singer Debbie Harry and a Broadway cast of “Oklahoma.” Before the attack, Gustern had several pals at her apartment to rehearse for an upcoming cabaret show, a friend told reporters.
“Her background in music theatre and opera was extraordinary, and it prepared her to take on the challenges of all of her students,” Gustern’s student Diamonda Galas wrote on Facebook. “She was for many, their New York mother, and she enjoyed being available to her students at all times. Many of us are in a state of rage as well as terrible grief. We want her murderer to be found before interest in this crime wanes.”
“I am too angry to say farewell,” she wrote.
A funeral service for Gustern has been scheduled for Saturday at Holy Apostles Church in Chelsea