An 86-year-old woman died after another hospital patient allegedly shoved her for breaking social distancing rules while she was disoriented, police said Thursday.
Janie Marshall, who has dementia, wandered the emergency room at Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center in Brooklyn on March 28 and grabbed another patient’s IV to regain her balance, The New York Times reported.
The patient, Cassandra Lundy, allegedly shoved her, leading Marshall to fall and hit her head. She died hours later, the New York Police Department told The Hill.
Police charged Lundy, 32, with manslaughter and assault last week after a medical examiner determined the cause of death was homicide. She was originally given a summons for disorderly conduct before the examiner’s ruling.
A surveillance camera recorded the incident showing an altercation between Marshall and Lundy. Lundy had told police she pushed Marshall because she “got into the defendant’s space,” the criminal complaint said.
Marshall first went to the hospital on March 27 after complaining of a stomach ache. She was diagnosed with a blocked bowel and admitted, although no family members could stay with her due to coronavirus rules at the hospital, according to the Times.
Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center said it is cooperating with law enforcement.
“We are terribly saddened by this death,” the hospital said in a statement to The Hill. “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.”
The incident highlights some of the chaos that has enveloped New York City amid the pandemic, where 80,204 have tested positive for the virus, 20,474 have been hospitalized and 4,260 have died.
New York instituted social distancing rules in mid-March to avoid community spread of the virus.
The Hill reached out to Brooklyn Defender Services, which is defending Lundy, for comment.
The New York Times first reported the incident Thursday.