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Three attacks at Atascadero State Hospital since Saturday, officials confirm

Three attacks by patients took place at Atascadero State Hospital since Saturday, officials there and with the state confirmed Monday.

About 8 p.m. Sunday, a patient reportedly assaulted an employee. Officials did not disclose the employee’s position, but said the worker left ASH after the attack.

No arrest was made, according to state Department of Mental Health spokeswoman Beth Willon.

Then on Monday morning, hospital police tried to contain an aggressive patient when, they say, he assaulted ASH police officer, Willon confirmed. The officer also left work following the incident, she said.

Hospital police later arrested the patient allegedly involved, officials said.

Hospital police say they would request that the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office file two felony charges of resisting an executive officer, one felony count of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury and one felony count of serious bodily injury to a police officer against that suspect.

ASH and state officials routinely withhold the names of patients who are arrested, citing medical confidentiality.

But County Jail records show that ASH police booked Azubuike Obinna Okwara, 29, on those allegations just after 1:30 p.m. Monday.

Also on Monday, ASH police booked into County Jail a patient accused in a patient-on-patient assault that reportedly took place on Saturday, Willon confirmed.

Hospital police will request that the suspect be charged with two felonies: battery with serious injury and assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, she said.

County Jail records show that ASH police booked Robert John Morgan, 51, about 2:15 p.m. Monday on suspicion of felony battery with serious bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm.

In an investigation the hospital said was unrelated to the attacks, ASH police and other staff are looking into one part of their computerized alarm system that wasn’t working properly.

The hospital said as a safety precaution, patients were confined to their units and police rounds were increased. The alarm system complications were discovered Monday morning, according to ASH spokesman Craig Dacus.

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