In a bizarre incident, a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) living in the US allegedly hit his father with a hammer so that he could leave the old man in a hospital and return to India.
Jayantibhai Patel, 57, a resident of Foster City, San Francisco, is being held on a $500,000 bail for allegedly hitting his 81-year-old wheelchair-bound father last month, prosecutors said Monday.
Patel lived with his father but wanted to return to India, where he has lived off and on. But the father did not want to move, Foster City police officer Jon Froomin said.
Patel then decided to place his father in a nursing home. "He was under a belief, we don't know why, that you can't go straight into a nursing home without being in the hospital," said Steve Wagstaffe, San Mateo County's chief deputy district attorney. "He thought he can overcome that problem by putting his father in the hospital."
Patel allegedly struck his father in the head with a hammer on October 6 while the elderly man was in the bathroom, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
On the way to the hospital, paramedics asked the victim if he slipped and fell while bathing. "That's when the father told them, 'Absolutely not. My son hit me on the head with a hammer'," Wagstaffe said.
The father suffered two cuts on his head and has been released from the hospital, said Patel's attorney Thomas Gray.
Gray called the case bizarre but disputed the notion that there had been an argument about returning to India.
"There's a lot more to the story than that," Gray said. "The father has required constant medical care. And he needs constant medical care. And it's more than what one or two people can do."
Patel has been charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and abuse of an elderly person. Wagstaffe said the attempted murder charge will probably be dropped, but Patel still faces a maximum of 10 years in prison if convicted of the other charges.