LONG BEACH, Calif. – A 73-year-old man in California was beaten to death by a man he was sharing a hospital room with, according to the Long Beach Police Department.
Police say the victim, Francisco Sanchez-Reyes, sustained major injuries to his upper torso after being assaulted by 37-year-old Reginald Daniel Panthier at College Medical Center on Jan. 31.
Sanchez-Reyes’ son told KCBS that the beating was so bad that a nurse found his father on the floor bleeding to death.
Sanchez-Reyes was transported to another hospital in critical condition, while Panthier was taken into custody and taken to the Long Beach City Jail, where his bail was set at $1 million.
On Feb. 4, detectives presented their case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office where Panthier was charged with assault with a deadly weapon that is not a firearm, and producing great bodily harm against an elder.
On Feb. 9, officers say they were informed that Sanchez-Reyes had succumbed to his injuries. Detectives plan to discuss amending charges with the district attorney’s office this week.
Family described Sanchez-Reyes as loving and charismatic. The father of eight children and 24 grandchildren is seen smiling in many photos shared with KCBS.
Sanchez-Reyes’ son says his father was admitted into College Medical Center on Jan. 31 for a bladder infection. Family members say they just want to know why a simple hospital trip ended in such a tragedy.
The College Medical Center is cooperating with Long Beach police as they investigate the incident. Hospital spokespeople are calling it a random attack and are sending their deepest sympathies to the family.
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office will be determining Sanchez-Reyes’ official cause of death.