Elderly woman dies after being smacked for not social distancing: sources

An 86-year-old woman awaiting treatment for bowel blockage at a Brooklyn hospital yesterday died after being punched by a fellow patient — for not engaging in “social distancing” amid the coronavirus, law enforcement sources told The Post on Sunday.

The death of Janie Marshall of Williamsburg appeared to be the first potential crime in the city sparked by fears over the deadly contagion.

Marshall was in the emergency room at the city-run Woodhull Medical Center when she was smacked in the face by a 32-year-old patient, who was awaiting psychiatric treatment and got out of her nearby bed to launch the unprovoked attack, sources said.

Marshall was knocked off her feet and cracked her head on the floor shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday, sources said.

Her attacker allegedly told a Health and Hospitals Corp. police officer that she did it because Marshall “didn’t stay more than 6 feet away.”

The alleged assailant was issued a summons for disorderly conduct by hospital police and left the hospital without being admitted.

Meanwhile, Marshall was sent for a CT scan and was awaiting the exam when she was found slumped over in the hospital around 5:40 p.m. and pronounced dead from her head injury, sources said.

The NYPD wasn’t notified about the incident — which was caught on video — until around 10:30 p.m., with sources blaming the delay on the fact that Woodhull is swamped with patients due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cops were seeking to arrest Marshall’s alleged attacker on upgraded charges.

She has a record of 17 previous arrests, many for trespassing, sources said.

Neighbors at Marshall’s apartment described her as a longtime resident who lived alone and didn’t have any children, with one calling her a “nice lady” who was “very helpful.”

“She would always ask me if she could do something for me,” said the neighbor, who gave her name as Ms. Calloway.

Efrain Gomez, 70, described Marshall as a “very nice person.”

“What a shame,” he said of her death.

Gomez also noted that Marshall “looked much younger than she was.”

A Woodhull spokesman didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

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