COVID patient beat hospital roommate to death with oxygen tank: cops

By Yaron Steinbuch

December 23, 2020 | 12:56pm | 

A coronavirus patient in California allegedly beat his hospital roommate to death with an oxygen tank — because he was upset the fellow COVID-19 sufferer had begun to pray, police said.

Jesse Martinez, 37, allegedly carried out the brutal attack at Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, a city in LA County, about 9:45 a.m. Thursday, according to the LA County Sheriff’s Department.

The unidentified victim, who was described as an 82-year-old Hispanic man, had shared a room with Martinez, police said, adding that the two men did not know each other.

The victim died of his injuries at about 10:20 a.m. Friday, police said.

“The suspect became upset when the victim started to pray. He then struck the victim with an oxygen tank,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement.

Martinez was charged with murder, with a hate crime enhancement, and elder abuse. His bail was set at $1 million and he is due to appear in Antelope Valley Court on Dec. 28.

The investigation into the attack inside the hospital’s COVID-19 unit is ongoing.

A hospital spokeswoman told The Post that it would not comment due to the investigation and referred inquiries to police.

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