PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – A 34-year-old man was arrested last week after he attacked his roommate at a psychiatric hospital in Pembroke Pines where their stays were court-ordered, authorities announced Monday.
The attack was reported around 4:45 p.m. Friday at South Florida State Hospital, located at 800 Cypress Drive.
According to Pembroke Pines police, the suspect, Reinaldo Bermeosolo, and the victim were involved in a verbal altercation which turned physical.
Police said Bermeosolo repeatedly punched the victim in the face and then dragged him onto the floor, where he continued to punch him.
According to authorities, while on the floor, Bermeosolo pulled both of the victim’s eyes out of his eye sockets. The attack lasted for about seven minutes, police said.
Another patient who was walking past the two men’s room saw what happened and alerted hospital staff who then called 911 about an hour later, authorities said.
According to the suspect’s arrest report, nurses put the victim’s eyes on ice and provided them to paramedics, who then transported the victim to Memorial Regional Hospital, however the eyes could not be reattached and the victim now has permanent loss of sight in both eyes.
Police said hospital staff were cleaning up the scene as officers were arriving but were told to stop by the chief of staff.
“Does it concern you that seven minutes went by and that room was not being monitored?” Local 10 News reporter Roy Ramos asked Pembroke Pines police Capt. Christian S. Rogers.
“That is part of the investigation and we are looking into that,” Rogers responded.
According to the arrest report, a lieutenant from Pembroke Pines Fire Rescue informed officers that he was unaware that police had not been notified when he arrived. He said Bermeosolo was sitting on a chair just outside the room when first responders got there and was acting “nonchalant.”
Bermeosolo was eventually arrested on an aggravated battery charge and was transported to jail. As of Monday, he was being held without bond.
“Reinaldo fits the criteria for the Florida Mental Health Act and should be considered a threat to others if he does not receive treatment,” an officer wrote in the arrest report.
According to the report, Bermeosolo acknowledged that he had punched the victim after they got into an argument about a towel on the door to their room. Police said he admitted to holding the victim down so that he could not retaliate against him, but did not mention anything further.
Police said they were unable to get a statement from the victim because he was sedated at the hospital.
Local 10 News reached out to South Florida State Hospital to find out more about why the room wasn’t being supervised at the time and the amount of time it took to notify police, however an employee said they could not comment on the matter at this time.