Police found the 55-year-old man dead in the blood-splashed bathroom of his hospital room.
The man’s son, Alexander Ortega, met Miami Beach police at the door of Mount Sinai Medical Center about 7 p.m. on Saturday. He was upset, the report said, because hospital staff members wouldn’t tell him where his dad was.
Another officer heard from staff that Ortega’s father, Alejandro Ortega, was involved in “some type of physical altercation.” When MBPD found the elder Ortega, he was on his back on the bathroom floor. He was dead.
Around the corner in the TV lounge, police said they found 23-year-old Andre Brown. Once he saw the officers, police said Brown stood up, put his hands behind his back and said, “It was self-defense. I had to do it.” He kept going, police said.
“He kept f---ing around with the women,” Brown told police. “I gave him my clothes and he kept fighting me.”
Police said Brown told them the pair were roommates in the psychiatric health unit of the hospital. They had been talking Saturday night when Brown walked into the restroom. He told officers that Ortega walked in and touched his penis, launching Brown into a fury. He said he hit Ortega more than 20 times before he began choking him.
From here, Brown said the next thing he remembers is seeing the police walk into the TV lounge.
When Miami Beach police arrested Brown and charged him with second-degree murder, they found he had an outstanding warrant on drug charges.
The hospital also released a statement.
“This is a tragic incident that took place within the confines of our psychiatric health unit. Our deepest sympathies are with the deceased’s family and friends. The safety and well-being of our patients is our top priority. We continue to work with authorities in their ongoing investigation."
The most recent psychiatric patient death in Miami-Dade was the killing of Raul Alexander Rios at Aventura Hospital in June 2014.
Staffers were supposed to check on Rios and his roommate, Alexander Jackson, every 15 minutes. Security footage shows Jackson, who was involuntarily committed by police under the Baker Act, wandering in and out of the room for hours.
An hour and a half after the latest staffer peeked in, a cleaning woman found Rios dead, strangled with a bed sheet.
Aventura Hospital settled on a wrongful death lawsuit with the Rios family less than two months after he was murdered.