A 37-year-old man, who allegedly used an oxygen tank to beat a COVID-19 patient to death in his hospital bed in California, was charged with murder and hate crimes.
Jesse Martinez was upset when the 82-year-old who shared his hospital room began praying, according to LAPD.
Then Mister Martinez allegedly grabbed an oxygen tank and hit the elderly patient.
The victim died the next day.
The couple, who police say do not know each other, have been receiving treatment for the Coronavirus in a two-person room at Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, Southern California.
“The suspect was disturbed when the victim began to pray. Then he hit the victim with an oxygen tank,” Los Angeles police said in a statement.
“The suspect, Jesse Martinez, 37, has been arrested and charged with murder, promoting hate crimes and abuse of the elderly,” a statement read.
California hospitals are struggling to cope after the state recorded 1 million new infections in just six weeks. More than 2 million cases have been confirmed so far in California since the pandemic began.
Hospitals are facing a shortage of staff and the state has appealed for an additional 3,000 medical workers from afar