Escaped psychiatric hospital patient who fled Hawaii captured in California
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - Three days after an "extremely dangerous man" escaped from a Hawaii state hospital, Honolulu police were told Wednesday that 59-year-old psychiatric patient was captured in California.
Randall Saito was taken into custody in San Joaquin County, after a taxi driver noticed him.
He flew from Oahu to Maui and then to California on Tuesday.
Honolulu police say Saito escaped from the hospital around 9 a.m. Sunday and was somehow able to fly from Oahu to Maui to San Jose. They released photos of him, including one taken from inside the cab that picked him up from the hospital as he made his escape.
Authorities describe Saito as extremely dangerous, yet he was missing for nearly 10 hours before hospital officials notified authorities.
"They're not just locked up. subjected to treatment and given medication. They're given opportunities to explore individual interests and activities," says Dr. Mark Fridovich with the Adult Mental Health Division, Department of Health. It's the agency that oversees the hospital.
Saitorwas committed into the hospital in 1981 after he was acquitted of murdering a woman by reason of insanity. The victim was stabbed and shot.
"Once he committed a crime, we feel that he always has it in him to commit the crime or another crime similar to that. It never leaves a person as far as we're concerned," says Wayne Tashima, Deputy Prosecutor.
Law enforcement describes Saito a sexual sadist and a necrophiliac. "The type of crime he committed was really heinous, the circumstances surrounding the murder, so that's our main concern," says Tashima.
There are questions about how Saito managed to escape the hospital, get into a cab, and pass TSA before boarding two flights. Hospital officials were asked if someone on the inside helped him.
"We cannot speculate. That's one of the reasons why it's very important that we focus on apprehension and criminal investigation. That's one of the possible reason," says Dr. Fridovich.
Police say anyone who sees Saito should not approach him and contact law enforcement.
KTVU has unconfirmed information that Saito has family in Stockton and that may be why he headed to California.