Crime

ASH patient arrested after allegedly assaulting another patient

Junior Lopa, 29, a patient at Atascadero State Hospital, was arrested Monday, Oct. 15, 2012, on suspicion of felony assault with great bodily injury and felony battery with serious bodily injury. Original story »
Junior Lopa, 29, a patient at Atascadero State Hospital, was arrested Monday, Oct. 15, 2012, on suspicion of felony assault with great bodily injury and felony battery with serious bodily injury. Original story »

A 29-year-old Atascadero State Hospital patient is on an active hold at San Luis Obispo County Jail in connection with an assault last week that sent another patient to a local hospital.

Junior Lopa was arrested Oct. 15 on suspicion of felony assault with great bodily injury and felony battery with serious bodily injury, according to the County Jail’s website.

ASH reported that at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 15, a patient was injured during an aggressive incident by another patient. The victim was taken to a local hospital and a suspect was arrested, ASH spokesman Craig Dacus said.

No other details on the incident or how the victim's current condition were immediately available. Details of attack reports are preliminary and represent initial information hospital management still needs to investigate. Patients' names and injuries are not released by the facility due to federal law.

Violent acts by patients occur regularly at ASH, an all-male facility that has the highest security of California's five state hospitals.

Lopa was arraigned on Oct. 18 and pleaded not guilty, according to the District Attorney’s office. His pre-preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 8.

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