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Woman, 72, dies after allegedly being pushed in Chinatown

A 72-year-old woman has died after allegedly being pushed down by a 24-year-old woman in Chinatown, officials said.

Tajanetta Downing of Jamaica Plain pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated assault and battery and assault and battery on a person 60 or older at her arraignment in Boston Municipal Court on Thursday, the office of Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said in a statement. The victim, who has not yet been identified, died at Tufts Medical Center on Thursday evening after the arraignment, Conley’s office said.

The chief medical examiner will determine the cause of death, according to the district attorney’s office, and officials did not say if the charges will be upgraded.


Downing allegedly shoved the victim in the area of Essex and Chauncy streets on Wednesday, and left the scene. Jake Wark, a spokesman for Conley’s office, said investigators located Downing with the help of witnesses including a cameraman working on the nearby set of the movie “Ghostbusters.”

According to a police report filed in court, Downing told investigators she had been “involved in an altercation with a woman.”

“She pushed me and I pushed her back and I kept it going,” Downing said, according to the report.

Court documents said the victim’s injuries included a skull fracture, brain swelling, and bleeding.

Downing has two unrelated pending cases out of Dorchester Municipal Court, one from 2013 and one from June, Wark said.

Because her arrest in the Chinatown incident violated the terms of the two Dorchester cases, Downing will be held regardless of whether she posts the $75,000 bail set in the latest case.

Downing is expected back in court on Aug. 5.

Felicia Gans can be reached at Astead W. Herndon can be reached at