An 86-year-old woman died Saturday after being hit in the head and knocked the floor of a New York City hospital by another patient for violating coronavirus social distancing, police sources told the New York Daily News.
Janie Marshall was at Woodhull Hospital in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, for a bowel obstruction about 2 p.m. Saturday when she grabbed a metal stand in a hallway, police told the paper.
Apparently that upset a nearby seizure patient — 32-year-old Cassandra Lundy — who complained Marshall wasn't following coronavirus social distancing guidelines and allegedly hit her in the head and knocked her to the floor, the Daily News said, citing police sources.
Marshall died a few hours later, just before 5:40 p.m., the paper said.
What happened to the alleged attacker?
Some of the confrontation was caught on video, the Daily News said, adding that no one witnessed it. Hospital police issued Lundy a disorderly conduct summons and released her, the paper said, citing sources.
Lundy of Bedford-Stuyvesant has 17 prior arrests on charges that include drug possession, trespass, assault, and strangulation, the Daily News said, citing sources.
After releasing Lundy with a summons, the hospital didn't contact the New York Police Department until almost five hours after Marshall died, sources told the paper.
The city medical examiner on Monday ruled Marshall's death a homicide caused by heart disease with blunt impact injury of head as a contributing factor, the Daily News said in a follow-up story.
The paper noted that police sources indicated if Marshall's death is ruled a homicide caused by the alleged attack Lundy could face upgraded charges.
What did the hospital have to say?
NYC Health and Hospitals, which runs Woodhull, said in a statement to the Daily News that it was “saddened" by Marshall's death and is "collaborating with the NYPD in their investigation." The agency didn't respond to the paper's question about why it took so long for them to call police.
What did Marshall's family have to say?
The Daily News said in a follow-up story that the hospital contacted Marshall's sister more than nine hours after her death — about 3 a.m. Sunday — saying she died of "heart failure."
Marshall's niece, Antoinette Leonard-Jean Charles, didn't find out what reportedly happened until much later Sunday when she read about it in the Daily News, she told the paper.
NYC Health & Hospitals spokeswoman Stephanie Guzman, in response to the family's allegations, cited patient confidentiality and said the hospital is cooperating with the NYPD, the Daily News noted.