Suspect Arrested After Fatally Assaulting Man He Shared Room With at Long Beach Hospital: Police

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College Medical Center in Long Beach is seen in a Google Maps Street View image.

College Medical Center in Long Beach is seen in a Google Maps Street View image.

A Long Beach man could face a murder charge after allegedly assaulting a 73-year-old man he was sharing a hospital room with last month, police said Monday.

Reginald Daniel Panthier, 37, was originally arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, but officials are working to amend his charges after victim Francisco Sanchez-Reyes of Long Beach died from his injuries Sunday, Long Beach police said in a news release.

The attack occurred around 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 31 at the College Medical Center on Pacific Avenue. Officers who responded to the hospital were told Sanchez-Reyes suffered major injuries to his upper torso after his roommate assaulted him.

Sanchez-Reyes was taken to another hospital in critical condition. Coroner’s officials are now working to determine his official cause of death.

Panthier was booked Jan. 31 on suspicion of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon that is not a firearm and producing great bodily harm against an elder. However, detectives don’t believe an actual weapon was used, said Jennifer De Prez, a public information officer for Long Beach police.

The motive remains under investigation, and it’s unknown whether any sort of argument led up to the attack, De Prez said.

Los Angeles County prosecutors charged Panthier last Tuesday with assault with a deadly weapon and producing great bodily harm, and detectives plan to discuss amending the charges with the District Attorney’s Office this week.

Inmate records show Panthier remained in custody on $155,000 bail and was scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

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