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Friends, family of man paralyzed after hospital attack, night in jail left with questions
But John Ornelas said that is no reason to celebrate.
Clearly irritated, Ornelas declined to say more, adding the family's lawyer told him not to speak.
"I've got nothing to say. Whatever happened should speak for itself," he said.
Fern Ornelas has been able to speak when his breathing tube is removed and recognizes his family, his brother and close family, friends have said.
Whatever happened to Fern Ornelas, who has lived in Manchester since his family immigrated here from Portugal when he was a boy, is the focus of two investigations. One is being led by the Hillsborough County Attorney's Office with help from the Attorney General's Office. The other is being done by a three-member board Gov. Maggie Hassan appointed to get answers about Ornelas' situation and another Elliot Hospital emergency room attack involving a mentally ill patient that left two hospital staff hurt, one critically.
"Fern is a good guy," said Tom Thirsk, a retired Verizon worker who says he has known Ornelas for about 10 years. "Somebody is hiding something. This just doesn't happen by itself.
"We would like him to actually get better and not be handicapped or crippled," he added.
"Is it possible he (Fern) did something? Yes, I guess. But that is out of context for him," Conway added. He said his friend is a "good worker" and a "nice guy" who has never shown a violent side.
Investigators were at the jail that afternoon, the commissioners said they were told.
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