Volume 78 - Number 50 / May 20 - 26 , 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Police say E. 6th St. woman did not die from injuries from attack

By Lincoln Anderson

The cause of death of an East Village woman on the morning of Sat., May 9, in her apartment is still undetermined, according to the city’s medical examiner. But the local precinct commanding officer says it was definitely not a result of injuries sustained in clashes with a group of local youth who were “wilding.”

The woman, Lesia Pupshaw, 26, a resident of 202 E. Sixth St. near the Bowery, had been involved the previous night in violent skirmishes between the Tompkins Square Park “crusties” and local Hispanic youths, according to witnesses. Police confirmed last week that “five to six men had been throwing bottles at her earlier Friday night.”

However, this Tuesday, Ellen Borakove, a spokesperson for the medical examiner, said results of tests — likely toxicology and tissue tests — are still pending. In addition, a police investigation into Pupshaw’s death is also ongoing.

Local photographer and blogger Bob Arihood covered an ongoing series of violent incidents between the two groups on his Neither More Nor Less blog. Arihood noted on his blog that Pupshaw had been “brutally battered on the head and face” in the May 8 clashes.

“The attack appears from witnesses’ accounts to have begun with a blow delivered by a bottle hurled at her head from 4 or 5 feet,” Arihood wrote. “Then after Ms. Pupshaw fell to the ground, her attackers continued the attack by kicking her and striking her with wooden sticks and perhaps a silver cane.” The youths reportedly attacked Pupshaw again as she was on her way home, Arihood said.

According to reports, Pupshaw had overdosed on heroin the day before the incident.

Speaking last week, Deputy Inspector Dennis De Quatro, Ninth Precinct commanding officer, said one thing for certain is that the woman definitely did not die of any injuries she sustained in the altercations on the night of May 8. De Quatro said police are continuing their investigation but that witnesses have been less than cooperative. After the run-ins with the local youths on May 8, two individuals from the “crusty” group did file assault charges, he said.

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