UPDATE (3/22): A Long Island woman turned herself in and was arrested on a manslaughter charge in the death of Broadway singing coach Barbara Maier Gustern, NBC New York reports. Lauren Pazienza, 26, turned herself into the NYPD one day after Gustern’s death was classified as a homicide. Authorities had been trying to track down Pazienza for almost two weeks after releasing detailed surveillance footage of her.
Kathleen Hanna has called on the public to help identify the woman who pushed her singing coach Barbara Maier Gustern on the streets of Manhattan, an “unprovoked, senseless” attack that resulted in fatal injuries for Gustern.
“I can’t even fucking believe I am posting this,” Hanna wrote on Instagram next to surveillance photos of the alleged attacker. “This person murdered someone I love very much and I really don’t want anyone else to ever have to go thru what the lovely, energetic, funny as hell Barbara Maier Gustern had to go through.”
Gustern — an 87-year-old Broadway singing coach who also worked with the Bikini Kill vocalist, died Tuesday from traumatic brain injuries sustained during the March 10 attack. According to the NYPD, Gustern was shoved from behind near her home on West 28th Street and Eighth Avenue by a woman who “crossed the street [and] pushed [her] in an unproved senseless attack,” James Essig, the New York police chief of detectives, told reporters Tuesday. The Daily News also posted surveillance video of the woman walking around the time of the assault.
No words were exchanged by Gustern and the woman prior to the incident, after which the attacker fled down Ninth Avenue. “We’re asking the public’s help in solving this disgusting and disgraceful offense committed against a vulnerable, elderly female who was doing nothing but walking down the streets of New York City,” Essig added.
Gustern’s family is also offering a $3,500 reward for any information leading to the identification of the woman, NBC New York reports. “I struggle to understand and cope with this world on a daily basis, and frankly this is beyond my ability to bear,” Gustern’s grandson wrote on Facebook Tuesday. “Do what you can for your fellow human being, no matter how small. Make the time. Preventing needless loss and violence like this starts with us as individuals. We must care more for each other.”