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Attack Turns Holidays Into AIDS Test Vigil

December 5, 1995

NEW YORK (AP) _ A few seconds on a subway train turned a little girl’s holiday season into a vigil for the results of AIDS tests.

A homeless man with a history of mental illness allegedly jabbed 6-year-old Collete Lopez in the leg with a hypodermic needle Saturday as she rode the train near Times Square with her mother and older sister.

``We have no peace of mind now, just a lot of worry,″ the girl’s father, Sigfredo Lopez, said Monday.

Angel Coro, 51, was arrested and charged with assault. A judge ordered a psychiatric exam after Coro’s court-appointed attorney said his client was too demented to discuss the case.

The needle was being tested by the medical examiner’s office to try to determine if it contained blood infected with the virus that causes AIDS.

Health officials say it usually takes three to six months after transmission before tests can detect the virus in a person’s blood.

Collete’s blood was also tested shortly after the incident. Authorities refused to discuss the tests any further and it was unclear when or if results would be made public.

Meantime, state officials said Monday that Coro has a history of arrests for assault, grand larceny and burglary dating back to the 1960s.

Roger Klingman, a spokesman for the state Office of Mental Health, said Coro has been committed to several mental institutions and escaped from a state psychiatric facility in Rochester in 1993.

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