A New York City woman has been charged with manslaughter after police said she shoved an 86-year-old fellow hospital patient for getting too close during the coronavirus outbreak.
Cassandra Lundy, 32, was charged with manslaughter and assault after a medical examiner ruled the March 28 death of Janie Marshall a homicide.
Both women were being treated at Woodhull Hospital Center for ailments unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic when Marshall, who had dementia, lost her bearings, wandered close to Lundy and grabbed her IV pole to steady herself, The New York Times reported.
Lundy, enraged that Marshall had violated coronavirus social distancing recommendations, gave her a shove, according to police. Marshall fell to the floor, striking her head, and died three hours later.
Police initially gave Lundy a summons charging her with disorderly conduct, but upgraded the charge after the medical examiner’s ruling.
“How do you put your hands on an 86-year-old woman?” asked Marshall’s grandniece, Antoinette Leonard Jean Charles, according to the Times. “I also understand the fear level of every person in New York has. There is a notion of every man for themselves. But attacking an elderly person? That went too far.”
NYC Health and Hospitals, which runs Woodhull, said it was “saddened” by the death, according to the New York Daily News. The hospital’s statement added: “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.”
A legal representative for Lundy didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.