NewsCrime World

Irish man dies after being punched by patient in psychiatric ward

Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Centre
Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Centre

A 77-year-old Irish man has died after a fellow dementia patient attacked him for accidentally entering his room at a New York psychiatric ward.

Patrick Sheehan died five days after Larry Hammond (65) punched him inside the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in East Flatbush - the New York Daily News is reporting.

Irish Central reports that Mr Sheehan was born in Cork City and later emigrated to Boston Masachusetts before settling in Brooklyn with his wife Anne.

She told reporters that her husband was attacked on October 22: "They said that my husband went down the hall and he went into the wrong room,

“When Pat walked in, (Hammond) just shoved him out. He punched him ... and he stomped on his head when he was down."

NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said Hammond punched Mr Sheehan “from behind.”

The police officer said Mr Sheehan fell and hit his head.

“There was no argument that precipitated the assault,” Boyce said, describing the 11 p.m. clash. “(It’s) a sad story.”

Both men are psychiatric patients at Kingsbrook.

Ms Sheehan told New York Daily News that she wasn't told about the attack on her husband for eight hours.

“When I got there, he was comatose,” she said.

Alice Sheehan’s sister Anne Connaghan said Mr Sheehan had moved to the facility on October 5 while his family looked for a nursing home that could handle his dementia.

"They all loved him because he was so easygoing,” she said. “A couple of the nurses had said 'I wish he was my grandfather'."

Police have charged Hammond with assault, menacing and harassment.

A spokeswoman for the Kings County District Attorney’s office said charges are expected to be upgraded once the case is handed to the grand jury.

A post-mortem will be carried out to determine if Mr Sheehan died from the blow to the head.