Hawaii psychiatric hospital escape investigation completed

Published 12-12-2018

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HONOLULU (AP) - Officials said they are ready Wednesday to discuss the findings of an investigation into how a man escaped from a Hawaii psychiatric hospital and ended up in California.

The state attorney general's office has completed an administrative investigation more than a year after Randall Saito escaped from Hawaii State Hospital. It said "significant findings" would be shared at a news conference.

Saito was sent to the hospital in 1981 after being found not guilty by reason of insanity for killing a woman in 1979 in a shopping mall.

Saito was captured in Stockton, California, days after walking out of the hospital in November 2017. Saito called a taxi that took him to the airport, where he took a chartered flight to Maui. He used an alias to arrange the flight and paid $1,445 cash for it, prosecutors said. Then he took a commercial flight to San Jose, California, prosecutors said.

When he was arrested three days after his escape, he had more than $6,000 in cash and fake Washington state and Illinois driver's licenses bearing his photos with different names, prosecutors said. The fake licenses contained convincing-looking holograms that are difficult to reproduce.

Hospital surveillance footage shows Saito taping door locks for a lounge and retrieving a garbage bag from a combination-locked cabinet on the morning of his escape, according to a detective's affidavit.

He took clothes out of the bag and changed. He threw the bag with his old clothes in a trash bin and then opened a combination lock to get out of the hospital, the affidavit said. It's not known how he knew the combination.

And in the taxi, he had a backpack that he didn't have when he left the hospital grounds.

It took the hospital at least eight hours to notify law enforcement that Saito was missing.

While jailed in California after his capture, Saito gave various interviews with reporters, including The Associated Press. He said he escaped to show that he should be free.

Saito remains incarcerated in a Honolulu jail. He pleaded not guilty to escape and identity theft charges. His attorney, Michael Green, has said his family doesn't plan to post $500,000 bail. Saito prefers Oahu Community Correctional Center to the state hospital, Green said previously.

He took clothes out of the bag and changed. He threw the bag with his old clothes in a trash bin and then opened a combination lock to get out of the hospital, the affidavit said. It's not known how he knew the combination.

And in the taxi, he had a backpack that he didn't have when he left the hospital grounds.

It took the hospital at least eight hours to notify law enforcement that Saito was missing.

While jailed in California after his capture, Saito gave various interviews with reporters, including The Associated Press. He said he escaped to show that he should be free.

Saito remains incarcerated in a Honolulu jail. He pleaded not guilty to escape and identity theft charges. His attorney, Michael Green, has said his family doesn't plan to post $500,000 bail. Saito prefers Oahu Community Correctional Center to the state hospital, Green said previously.

It took the hospital at least eight hours to notify law enforcement that Saito was missing.

While jailed in California after his capture, Saito gave various interviews with reporters, including The Associated Press. He said he escaped to show that he should be free.

Saito remains incarcerated in a Honolulu jail. He pleaded not guilty to escape and identity theft charges. His attorney, Michael Green, has said his family doesn't plan to post $500,000 bail. Saito prefers Oahu Community Correctional Center to the state hospital, Green said previously.

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