LONG BEACH, Calif. — A 73-year-old man who was fatally assaulted by a fellow patient at a Long Beach hospital last month was described as a teacher and a coach by his son who has set up a fundraising page, KTLA reported.
“Our hearts are broken as he left us unexpectedly,” Ramon Sanchez said in the GoFundMe page set up after the death of his father, Francisco Sanchez-Reyes.
Francisco Sanchez-Reyes was hospitalized overnight at College Medical Center on Pacific Avenue for a urinary tract infection, his son said in the fundraising page.
Ramon Sanchez said his father was “fully alert” and was expecting to go home on the morning of Jan. 31. The attack happened later that day.
When Long Beach police officers responded, they were told Sanchez-Reyes was assaulted by his roommate and he suffered major injuries to his upper torso, police said.
The victim was transferred to Memorial Medical Center, also in Long Beach, his son said.
He said his sister told him the “horrible” news of the assault.
Ramon Sanchez said a nurse who went to check on his father found him “bleeding to death.” He added that detectives investigating the incident told his family the roommate confessed to giving his father “a beating.”
“We still don’t know, to this day, what was the reason for this individual to beat up my father,” Ramon Sanchez wrote in the fundraising page. Police have not released a possible motive in the attack.
The victim had extensive bleeding in his brain and ended up in a coma, his son said.
He died on Sunday, police said.
The assailant, Reginald Daniel Panthier, 37, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after the attack, but officials are working to amend his charges after Sanchez-Reyes died. He was charged last week with assault with a deadly weapon and producing great bodily harm. It is unknown what kind of weapon Panthier used in the attack.
Sanchez-Reyes’ son said his father came to the U.S. from Mexico for “more opportunity and a better life” for his children.
“He was the one that taught me about work ethic, respect and being a good human being,” Ramon Sanchez said.