An 86-year-old woman died at Woodhull Hospital Saturday after a 32-year-old fellow patient allegedly shoved her to the ground for not practicing social distancing.
The victim was walking in the emergency room of the city-run medical facility on the Bedford-Stuyvesant-Bushwick border just after 2 pm when, authorities say, she stopped and held onto the younger woman’s intravenous pole.
The alleged assailant got mad at the victim because she wasn’t keeping a safe distance to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, a spokesman for the Police Department said. The younger woman then pushed the older woman to the ground, causing her to knock her head and lose consciousness.
Hospital police escorted the younger woman off of the hospital premises and released her. The victim was pronounced dead just before 5:40 pm and police are now looking for the suspect on felony assault charges, the spokesman said.
The charges could be upgraded to homicide, depending on the autopsy by the city’s Medical Examiner, according to the police spokesman.
A spokeswoman for the Medical Examiner’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.
Neither of the women were in the hospital for treatment related to COVID-19, according to the police spokesman, who said that the victim was in the healthcare facility for bowel obstruction and her alleged attacker for seizure treatment.
Police are withholding the victim’s name pending family notification.