A patient at Patton State Hospital told investigators he beat another man to death there Saturday because "he didn't like the guy," San Bernardino Police Sgt. Gary Robertson said.
George Carver, 40, was arrested after the attack, which occurred at 11:41 a.m. Saturday in a housing unit at the mental health facility, police said. He was being held Sunday on suspicion of murder at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.
The 65-year-old victim, who also was serving a criminal commitment, suffered severe head injuries and died six hours later at Loma Linda University Medical Center, police said. His name was not released pending notification of relatives.
"The motive for the attack was that he didn't like the guy, for whatever reason," Robertson said Sunday.
The beating occurred while the two men, who were not roommates, were alone in a room that sleeps four people, Robertson said.
Other patients heard the victim's yells for help and notified the staff immediately, he said. The room was not equipped with security cameras, he said.
Saturday's attack was reminiscent of the 2008 beating of a man by a fellow patient at the hospital. The victim in that case died two weeks after the assault, which officials said occurred in a dining hall.
A highly critical U.S. Department of Justice report in 2006 found that the hospital suffered from high rates of patient-on-patient violence and repeated suicide attempts by hanging.
After several years of federal scrutiny, the hospital was released from the U.S. government's oversight in 2011.