Hawaii acknowledges failures after risky patient escapes


The Hawaii State Department of Health, which runs the hospital, declined to give details about the escape, citing an ongoing investigation and privacy laws.

"Randall Saito is a very disturbed, mentally ill individual", said deputy prosecutor Jeff Albert at the time, according to KHON.

"The Hawaii State Hospital is a 202-bed facility and is the only state psychiatric hospital to provide inpatient psychiatric services for court-ordered individuals within a safe and therapeutic environment", the department added. He was arrested in California on Wednesday after taking two flights to get there.

In a letter to Circuit Judge Richard Perkins, Dr. Gene Altman said Saito "presents a substantial risk of danger to others as a result of his current mental state".

Saito walked away from the Honolulu hospital Sunday, officials say because hospital staff both inadvertently and purposefully didn't follow supervision protocols. She said the man fit the description of Saito.

Randall Saito, who is considered extremely risky, was detained near Stockton after a cab driver tipped off officers, San Joaquin Sheriff spokesman Dave Konecny said.

Saito was acquitted in 1981 of murder by reason of insanity in the slaying of Sandra Yamashiro.

- Federal and local law enforcement here in the Bay Area are searching for what Honolulu police are describing as an extremely unsafe man who escaped from a Hawaii state hospital.

He was booked into the San Joaquin County Jail and us awaiting extradition to Honolulu, Konecny said.

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The department posted a photograph on social media showing Saito surrounded by three deputies at a gas station. Maui police say he flew to Maui shortly afterward.

According to NBC Bay Area News, Saito escaped Hawaii State Hospital on Sunday, November 12th.

The 59-year-old is 6 feet (1.8 meters) tall and 220 pounds.

Police believe a man acquitted of a 1979 murder by reason of insanity is in Northern California after he escaped from a Hawaii psychiatric hospital, took a taxi to a chartered plane to Maui and then boarded another plane to San Jose.

Saito, who police describe as "extremely unsafe", had an elaborate escape plan involving cash, supplies, and a scheduled chartered plane.

Saito has been charged with felony escape, and the attorney general said the breakout was not planned by someone suffering from a "mental defect". "He's a very risky individual with respect to whom all the predictors indicate that if he were to be released, he would kill again".

Police say Saito boarded a chartered flight and flew from Oahu to Maui.

Saito was gone at least eight hours before hospital staff alerted authorities.

A law enforcement agent told CBS13's Carlos Correa on Wednesday that Randall Saito had been taken into custody.