The death of a Broadway singing coach, after she was shoved by stranger has been ruled a homicide by NYPD, but an arrest has not been made despite police sharing a crystal-clear image of her face.
Barbara Maier Gustern, 87, died 11 days ago after she was pushed down from behind and hit her head on March 10. Gustern was conscious when EMTs arrived at the scene outside her apartment on W. 28th St and 8th Ave and told police she was attacked by another woman.
“She has suffered traumatic damage to the left side of her brain, and has been unconscious the entire time,” Gustern’s grandson AJ said on Facebook. She died in a hospital bed Tuesday morning, where she was on life support.
She is described as a red-haired woman, likely in her 30s, wearing a black jacket, black leggings, a white skirt and dark colored shoes.
“This is a disgusting and disgraceful offense committed against a vulnerable, elderly woman doing nothing but walking down the streets of New York City,” NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said in an impassioned plea as he sought the public’s help last Tuesday.
The terrifying incident comes as crime in the the five boroughs has spiked by 45 percent compared to this time last year, with robbery up by 43.5 percent and assault up by 17.2 percent. The New York City subway system has been ground zero for the latest crime wave after an alarming 73.3 percent increase in underground incidents – including 182 in February alone.
NYPD has asked anyone with information in regard to to the attack against Gustern to call the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).