The life of Barbara Gustern, an 87-year-old Broadway vocal coach, was snuffed out on March 15, after several days of suffering. While waiting for a cab in front of her Chelsea apartment on March 10, she was pushed from behind and hit her head. She was in a coma until she died of her injuries several days later. Photos of a young woman caught on camera getting onto a subway near the crime scene have circulated around NYC.

Barbara Gustern

The self-described “woke” vocal coach who frequently used Facebook to virtue-signal about the Left’s cause du jour (see images posted to her Facebook page below) was a beloved figure in the theater community. On March 8, Gustern wrote: “Those of us who consider ourselves “woke” take pride in our empathetic natures.” In the same Facebook post, she also warned, “All these expressions of solidarity are right and good. But at the same time, do not let these make us smug and superior. We must bear responsibility for some of what we passively condone.”

Since the day of the accident, Ms. Gustern’s grandson AJ has taken over her Facebook page as a way to provide updates for her friends in the theater community. On March 12, AJ posted a heartbreaking image of himself holding his grandmother’s bruised hand in the hospital as he extended an invitation for others to join him at his grandmother’s church to pray.

He wrote:

Greetings everyone.

This is Barbara’s grandson AJ, I am here holding her hand, and I wanted to update you all. She has suffered traumatic damage to the left side of her brain, and has been unconscious the entire time. She is intubated, and we are unclear how much she is able to breathe on her own. Should she awake, she will most likely suffer speech problems and may be unable to move her right side. It is a very serious injury.

I would ask, not trying to visit her, it is an ongoing investigation, and the police don’t want anybody but family visiting. And none of you want to see her like this, believe me.

I will, however, extend the invitation to any and all who wish to pray for Barbara tomorrow at her church.

I apologize if it takes me a while to respond, but I am incomprehensibly broken inside. I struggle to understand and cope with this world on a daily basis, and frankly, this is beyond my ability to bear.
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.

This afternoon, a 26-year-old NYC events coordinator Lauren Pazienza, turned herself into police after several days of photos showing a woman resembling her have been circulating in NYC. She is expected to be charged with manslaughter.

Daily Mail reports – Gustern was walking towards a cab outside her Chelsea apartment building when she was pushed from behind on March 10. She was helped back to her feet by a cyclist and was taken to the hospital ‘covered in blood’ after hitting her head, but died four days later.

According to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, her cash bail has been set at $500,000.

Before she lost consciousness, Gustern told police and a friend that a woman had crossed the street, approached her directly, called her a ‘b***h,’ and shoved her ‘as hard as she had ever been hit in her life.’

Prosecutors say Pazienza stood on 29th Street and watched an ambulance as it arrived at the scene, according to surveillance videos reviewed by police.

Soon after the attack, she went back home to Astoria, Queens, quit her job at a store in Chelsea, deleted all social media, and took down a website advertising her wedding this June, prosecutors say. The day after Gustern died, she allegedly fled for her parents’ home on Long Island.

Her attorney told on Tuesday that there is no proof that she pushed Gustern.


On Saturday, the NYPD released photos of a flame-haired young woman who they said was responsible for the attack. She appeared to be getting on the subway.

That woman has now been identified as Pazienza, who lives in Astoria, Queens, with her fiancé.

Pazienza worked as an events coordinator for the furniture brand Roche Bobois but quit her role in December. It’s unclear what she has been doing since or what motive she could have had for pushing the woman.

Pazienza is engaged to be married to Microsoft customer support specialist Naveen Pereira, who allegedly owns the Astoria apartment where they live together.

Her attorney told on Tuesday that there is no proof that she pushed Gustern.

‘What they have is a photo of someone who looks like my client getting on the subway. This attack did not happen on the subway,’ attorney Arthur Aidala said.

Here’s the video showing the alleged suspect when she arrived at the subway station after pushing the elderly vocal coach into the street:

It remains unclear if there is any connection between the pair or if it was a random attack.

A friend of Ms. Gustern had this to say about Pazienza after she turned herself in to the NYPD today:

I looked up Lauren Pazienza. This woman is 26, makes over 100k, is a homeowner, and was a professional.

I wanted her to be mentally ill. I needed her to be mentally ill. She is not mentally ill. She is just an awful human being.

In a moment’s time, she took the life of someone who was kind and loving. Someone who believed in me, my writing, and worried for me as a nurse during the pandemic. Checked in on me. I am forever grateful that I saw her two weeks ago and kissed her face.

The world is a less loving place now. Life is so cruel to us at times. Losing Barbara Maier Gustern is cruel and will never be okay.

Lauren Pazienza There is a difference of mental illness and evil. You are evil.

Lauren Pazienza, I needed you to be mentally ill, so I could forgive you. Barbara would have never judged anyone for mental illness. She would have expected us all to forgive you. But you are evil and will never be forgiven.

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