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Coronavirus

NYPD: Hospital Patient Dies After Apparent Social-Distancing Attack

Police say one patient pushed another for standing too close at a Brooklyn hospital; she died not long after

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A New York City woman died in a hospital attack that police and hospital staff say may have been motivated at least in part by new social distancing measures. 

The NYPD says officers responded to an assault involving two women at Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday. Both were patients; the alleged attacker was 32, the victim was 86. 

According to the NYPD, hospital staff told officers they saw the 32-year-old push the elderly woman to the ground around 2:07 p.m. The 86-year-old was knocked out as her head hit the floor, according to police. She was pronounced dead not long after the attack.

NYPD officials say the 32-year-old claimed the 86-year-old was standing too close -- and that “you can infer” that it could have been due to fears about the coronavirus. 

In a statement to the Daily News, which first reported the attack, New York City Health+Hospitals said it was “saddened" by the death and that it was cooperating with the NYPD's investigation. It's not clear why officers weren't called to the hospital until several hours after the attack.

The News reports that neither women were being treated for COVID-19. No charges have been announced.

The city medical examiner's office will determine the exact cause of death.

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