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Autopsy Shows Napa Hospital Patient Died Of Heart Attack

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Napa State Hospital Entrance (California Department of Mental Health website)

The entrance to Napa State Hospital. (California Department of Mental Health)

NAPA (CBS SF) – A Napa State Hospital patient who died after a fight with his roommate on Monday afternoon suffered a heart attack, Napa County Sheriff’s Capt. Tracey Stuart said Thursday morning.

The preliminary report from an autopsy on Wednesday indicated that the patient, 47-year-old William Roebling, suffered from coronary artery disease and had an enlarged heart, Stuart said.

Stuart said that when Roebling played a prank on one of his roommates around 5 p.m. Monday, the male roommate hit Roebling’s buttocks with a rolled-up magazine. Roebling then punched the roommate in the face, Stuart said.

The altercation spilled out into a hallway near a nurses’ station, where a third patient got between the two men, Stuart said.

When Roebling again tried to get at his roommate, hospital staff intervened and put Roebling face-down on the floor, Stuart said.

The staff members placed Roebling’s wrists in soft, Velcro restraints and rolled him onto his back, Stuart said.

They then noticed that Roebling was turning blue and was having trouble breathing, Stuart said. Staff started CPR, but Roebling stopped breathing and was pronounced dead at 5:43 p.m., Stuart said.

Roebling’s roommate suffered a spilt lip during the altercation, Stuart said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBSSan Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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