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Man charged with attempted murder at Encino Hospital

A man suspected of stabbing a doctor and two nurses at an Encino hospital was charged on Tuesday with three counts of attempted murder.

Ashkan Amirsoleymani, 35, was arrested on Friday evening after an hours-long standoff with police. Amirsoleymani had entered Encino Hospital Medical Center that afternoon under the guise of seeking treatment for an unspecified illness, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Witnesses who spoke to The Times on Saturday described the stabbing scene as “a bloodbath”.

Parham Saadat and Faraz Farahnik, who work at a nearby dental practice, said they were leaving work on Friday when they encountered a bloodied man outside the hospital.

At first they thought the man was seeking treatment, but they soon realized he was wearing gowns and no one was helping him.

Saadat and Farahnik ran to help the man and learned that he was a nurse. He told them that a patient had stabbed him and he was inside stabbing other people.

Saadat and Farahnik called an ambulance, helped the nurse, and entered the hospital, where they helped confine Amirsoleymani to a small room by closing a door behind him. Saadat and Farahnik also helped treat the injured doctor until paramedics arrived.

SWAT officers entered the hospital around 5:25 p.m., and Amirsoleymani was taken into custody hours later, police said. He was taken to hospital with arm injuries that appeared to be self-inflicted, investigators said.

According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, the three counts of attempted murder against Amirsoleymani include allegations of grievous bodily harm and having a prior conviction for violence.

It was unclear whether Amirsoleymani had a lawyer representing him. He was due to be arraigned on Tuesday, but proceedings continued until June 22, according to Ricardo Santiago, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office.

Police said Amirsoleymani had previous contact with the LAPD, including two involving officers who used force against him. He was arrested in both cases on suspicion of assaulting an officer and resisting arrest, authorities said.

In a criminal complaint filed Tuesday, prosecutors listed five prior convictions, including assault likely to produce grievous bodily harm and assault with a deadly weapon.

Amirsoleymani remained in custody on Tuesday on $3 million bail, according to prison records.

The three stabbed victims were hospitalized on Saturday in stable condition. Police did not have an update on their status on Tuesday.

Times writers Alex Wigglesworth, Richard Winton and Kevin Rector contributed to this report.

Los Angeles Times

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