A 37-year-old Long Beach man accused of assaulting a 73-year-old patient he shared a hospital room with could face new charges after the older man died from his injuries, authorities said this week.
Francisco Sanchez-Reyes of Long Beach died Sunday morning — nine days after he was attacked at the College Medical Center on Pacific Avenue, according to the Long Beach Police Department. Sanchez-Reyes suffered major injuries to his upper torso and was taken to another hospital in critical condition, police said.
Reginald Daniel Panthier was arrested Jan. 31, the day of the reported assault. He was originally charged Feb. 4 with assault with a deadly weapon that is not a firearm and producing great bodily harm against a senior citizen, to which he has pleaded not guilty.
But authorities say they now will discuss amending the charges, given Sanchez-Reyes’ death.
Sanchez-Reyes was hospitalized at 5:30 a.m. Jan. 31 after seeking treatment for a urinary tract infection, his son, Ramon Sanchez, wrote in an online fundraising page. Police said he was attacked in the hospital about 12:30 p.m. the same day.
Sanchez wrote that his father was beaten so badly that “the nurse found him [on] the floor bleeding to death.”
He added that: “We still don’t know, to this day, what was the reason for this individual to beat up my father.”
“He was my first teacher, coach and mentor,” Sanchez wrote of his father. “He came here from Mexico to give us more opportunity and a better life. He was the one that taught me about work ethic, respect and being a good human being — love for God and to get along with others.”
Panthier remains in custody on $155,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court Thursday, records show. Sanchez’s GoFundMe page had raised about $6,000 as of Tuesday morning.
In a statement Tuesday, College Medical Center characterized the attack as “a tragic and unforeseeable incident” and said the hospital “is fully cooperating with law enforcement in regards to the criminal investigation and prosecution of the assailant for this random act of violence.”
“The safety and well-being of our patients, along [with] the provision of superior care, remain our highest priority” and “College Medical Center’s deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of the deceased,” the hospital added.