New photos of a woman suspected of assaulting an 87-year-old Broadway vocal coach who died days after the unprovoked attack in Manhattan last week have been released by the NYPD. Barbara Maier Gustern was put on life support on Tuesday, five days after the Chelsea assault.
Red-colored hair woman attacks renowned vocal coach
Police are still looking for her attacker and have turned to the public for assistance. Surveillance video shows the suspect fleeing the area and heading toward Ninth Avenue. She was described as a red-haired lady in her 30s who was dressed in a black jacket, black leggings, a white skirt, and dark-colored shoes.
Gustern’s grandson, AJ, uploaded a photo on Tuesday morning of himself gripping his grandmother’s hand as she lay in a hospital bed.
At approximately 8.30 p.m. on Thursday, Gustern, who once instructed Blondie star Debbie Harry, was shoved from behind in front of her building on West 28th Street and Eighth Avenue in Chelsea’s fashionable Chelsea area. According to the New York Times, she was on her way to see a student perform at Joe’s Pub, something she did frequently.
The horrifying incident occurred as a crime in the five boroughs increased by 45 percent year over year, with robbery up 43.5 percent and assault up 17.2 percent. After an astonishing 73.3 percent spike in underground occurrences, including 182 in February alone, the New York City subway system has been ground zero for the newest crime wave.
Gustern was conscious when paramedics came and was able to inform officers that she had been assaulted by another woman, but her health quickly deteriorated, according to the Daily News.
According to investigators, she suffered serious head injuries. Gustern’s grandson, AJ, posted on Facebook late Saturday night to inform her followers. Gustern died as a result of her injuries on Tuesday morning. After her death spread, the outpouring of condolences began.
Penny Arcade, a Facebook user, said she met the vocal coach while feeling unwell at a party held by singer Debbie Harry. Gustern’s death, she said, was an “abrupt and wrong” conclusion to her life.
Gustern’s grandson’s message was shared by Melinda Pope DeRocker, who claims to have studied under Gustern. According to the New York Times, Gustern traveled to New York from Indiana to kickstart her acting career.
She subsequently went on to work as a voice coach, first at a university and later at a local company. The unprovoked attack occurred as the NYPD released new data showing a 60 percent increase in crime in February compared to the same month last year.
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