HOUSTON - Residents in a southwest Houston neighborhood had quite a scare after a psychiatric patient was running loose and evading police. Officers swarmed the area trying to capture the man who escaped from Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital.
“You don't know if he robbed somebody or why did he run," says Johanna, a resident in the neighborhood. "So it scares me,”
“You don't know the intentions of this person,” adds Milly, another resident.
The man was hiding in backyards and jumping fences, staying a step ahead of hospital workers and Houston police officers.
“And we have kids, so it's scary, but I'm glad the cops are here,” says another woman.
“We don't usually have this in our neighborhood," admits a resident named Becky. "So I'm kind of frightened about it.”
After almost two hours of the psychiatric patient wearing only his hospital gown and running through the southwest Houston neighborhood, police dogs and the police helicopter were brought in.
Barking neighborhood dogs were helping officers track the man, but they couldn’t catch him for some time.
“He can grab somebody or one of my children or somebody else’s children," residents told FOX 26 News. "It's just very scary.”
Milly, who has lived in the neighborhood for 15 years, was determined to help police catch the man before nightfall.
“I would not be able to sleep, you know, thinking about that guy, (wondering) is he at my house,” says Milly. She also adds that she wanted him caught before school let out or else it would have potentially sent children into harm's way. “Not only for my son, for the other children that walk from school”.
The man ran right by the FOX 26 crew during the interview with Milly. He once again hopped backyard fences and ran away from police.
Officers finally caught him and he was taken back to the hospital. Residents say they're thankful no one was injured, including the patient.
FOX 26 reached out to Memorial Hermann Hospital and a spokesperson says the hospital’s treatment plan includes ensuring the safety and security of all patients throughout their hospital stay.