The NYPD said on Tuesday that the woman suspected of shoving a beloved Broadway voice coach, causing her to suffer fatal injuries, has turned herself in. 26-year-old Lauren Pazienza of Port Jefferson on Long Island has been charged with manslaughter in the death of 87-year-old Barbara Maier Gustern.
For nearly two weeks, NYPD had been searching for Pazienza, who is accused of approaching Gustern from behind and pushing her to the ground just steps away from her apartment near West 28th Street and 8th Avenue in the Chelsea section of Manhattan. Gustern was responsive after the attack, telling a friend who came to her aid that she had “never been hit so hard” in her life. However, she later slipped into a coma and was taken to Bellevue Medical Center, where it was discovered that she had suffered traumatic damage to the left side of her brain; Gustern died March 15. The motive behind the seemingly unprovoked attack is unknown at this time.
Gustern was fondly regarded in New York’s theater community. She coached the cast of the 2019 Broadway revival of the musical “Oklahoma!,” The New York Times reported. She also once coached rock singer Debbie Harry of the group Blondie.
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