The Region : Acid Suspect Faced Exam

A Whittier man accused of splashing acid on 4-year-old Rachel Ogawa of La Habra outside a park restroom had been under orders to begin psychiatric evaluation at the time of the attack last weekend, authorities said. The testing was to be carried out in connection with Mark Edward Hand's parole to California from a prison term he had served in Texas for burglary, said John Dowling, supervisor of the state Corrections Department parole unit in West Covina. Hand, 26, was placed under the supervision of Dowling's unit when he moved to his parents' home in Whittier from El Paso on Dec. 24. Although Texas prison records provided no information about any mental instability, Dowling said, Hand's family had told parole officials that he had prior problems that required him to take medication. Hand is being held at Orange County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail pending arraignment on charges of aggravated assault with a caustic chemical.

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