Former Port Jefferson woman turns herself in to NYPD

Former Port Jefferson woman turns herself in to NYPD

Photo from NYPD social media

Nearly two weeks after the New York City Police Department began the search to find who shoved a revered 87-year-old Broadway singing coach, leading to her death, a woman formerly from Port Jefferson turned herself in to police.

According to NYPD, Lauren Pazienza, 26, turned herself in March 22 and was charged with manslaughter and two counts of second-degree assault. Some media outlets have reported that Pazienza now lives in Astoria with her fiancé.

On March 10, New York City police received a report that at approximately 8:25 p.m. an individual approached 87-year-old Barbara Gustern from behind and allegedly pushed the victim. The incident happened in the Chelsea section of Manhattan.

The fall caused Gustern to hit her head, and Pazienza allegedly fled westbound, according to the NYPD. EMS responded to the scene and transported the victim to a hospital.

Gustern, who also coached Blondie singer Debbie Harry, died of her injuries on March 15. According to The New York Times, Gustern was able to give a description of her assailant before her death.

Pazienza’s social media presence included being listed as a communications and events coordinator for French furniture company Roche Bobois on LinkedIn.

A representative from Roche Bobois said she resigned from the company in December of 2021.

She used for her wedding website and registry with her nuptials scheduled for June. Both her LinkedIn account and wedding information have been taken down.

Her attorney, Arthur Aidala of Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins of New York, said, “We are pleased that the court granted bail to Ms. Pazienza and we expect her to be released in the coming days. We anxiously await the production of the discovery material by the District Attorney’s Office. The Pazienza family joins the rest of the city in grieving the loss of Barbara Gustern.” 

Pazienza, who is a 2013 graduate of Ward Melville High School, is due back in court March 25.