Escaped psychiatric patient from Hawaii captured in California

Courtesy San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office

The Hawaii psychiatric hospital from which a patient escaped Sunday, before his apprehension in Caliifornia on Wednesday, has seen almost 20 patients escape over the past eight years.

The state says that as the investigation continues, more Hawaii State Hospital employees may be taken off duty.

In 2000, Saito's defense attorney argued for his release, but deputy city prosecutor, Jeff Albert, argued against it, stating that Saito "fills all the criteria of a classic serial killer". Police said he boarded a plane to Maui.

Saito was committed to the hospital in 1981.

Saito had been living at the psychiatric hospital since 1981 when he was acquitted by reason of insanity of the murder of a 29-year-old woman, the Associated Press reported.

The driver, who did not believe the passenger was the wanted man, took him to Walmart.

Saito was sent to the hospital in 1981 after acknowledging he shot Sandra Yamashiro with a pellet gun and then repeatedly stabbed her in her auto, which was parked at a shopping mall, according to court records.

Altman said Saito can be personable and has good social skills. From there, there are published reports that say he boarded an Hawaiian Airlines flight to San Jose.

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. Honolulu police then forwarded that information to authorities in Stockton.

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

A medical staffer at the Hawaii State Hospital who has worked with Saito says he's a master at getting people to do what he wants. There, he got on an airliner and arrived in San Jose, California, arriving two hours before the hospital reported him missing.

Saito has been charged with felony escape, and the attorney general said the breakout was not planned by someone suffering from a "mental defect".

Honolulu prosecutor, Wayne Tashima, warned the public that Saito is a "very risky individual" and advised those who see him to not approach.

Chin called Saito "a risky individual" who needs to be off the streets.

Honolulu police say Randall Saito left the Hawaii State Hospital at 9 a.m. Sunday and failed to return. Police wouldn't provide details about his flight to California.

He landed in San Jose, where he reportedly has family members, Sunday evening, hours before he was reported missing, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Saito's wife, who had been his patient advocate at the state hospital, sat in the courtroom during today's hearing.

"We were dismayed to learn that Hawaii State Hospital escapee Randall Saito used an alias to charter a flight on one of our planes from Honolulu to Maui on Sunday", said a statement Wednesday from luxury charter flight company Royal Pacific Air.

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