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Atascadero State Hospital patient arrested after psychiatrist is attacked

Gerald Ellis Hughes, 46, a patient at Atascadero State Hospital, was arrested Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012, on suspicion of felony assault with a deadly weapon. Original story »
Gerald Ellis Hughes, 46, a patient at Atascadero State Hospital, was arrested Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012, on suspicion of felony assault with a deadly weapon. Original story »

A psychiatrist at Atascadero State Hospital was attacked by a patient Tuesday, the hospital confirmed Wednesday evening.

Gerald Ellis Hughes, 46, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of felony assault with a deadly weapon. He was booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail, where he remained Wednesday evening on an active hold, according to jail records.

The employee, whose name and injuries were not disclosed, was treated in the hospital's medical area and returned to work, hospital spokesman Craig Dacus said.

The investigation is ongoing, he added.

Tuesday’s incident follows reported attacks on four other hospital employees in three separate incidents on Friday.

ASH is a high-security state hospital in southeast Atascadero that treats mentally ill inmates from the correctional system and otherviolent offenders.

The information on recent attacks is the result of daily checks by The Tribune on violence at the facility.

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