Escaped psychiatric hospital patient fled Maui hospital, may be in Bay Area

Escaped psychiatric hospital patient fled Maui hospital, may be in Bay Area

A bench warrant of $500,000 has been issued for Hawaii State Hospital escapee Randall Saito, who has also been charged with felony escape. Prosecutors say escaped psych patient that flew to SJ has criteria of classic serial killer Honolulu Police say 59-year-old Randall Saito took a taxi from Kaneohe to Honolulu then chartered a plane to Maui.

But it took hospital personnel eight hours to notify local law enforcement once they realized Saito was missing.

Police released photos of Saito leaving the hospital Monday. Hospital staff called 911 to report his disappearance shortly after 7:30 p.m. - two hours after he landed in San Jose, police said.

It remains unknown whether Saito remained in the Bay Area, but officials say some of his family members live in the area.

The FBI, US Marshals and other federal agencies have teamed up in the manhunt to find him, KGMB reported. Cameras captured him wearing a red jacket, trousers and a button-up aloha shirt.

"He is a very risky individual", said Wayne Tashima, a Honolulu prosecutor who argued in 2015 against Saito receiving passes to leave the hospital grounds without an escort. Tashima is concerned that Saito could commit the same "very heinous and violent offense" again.

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Authorities have called Saito a "violent psychopath", and prosecutors have argued for years that he should not be unsupervised in the community.

Saito was acquitted of the 1979 murder of Sandra Yamashiro, based on mental disease or disorder, and committed to the Hawaii State Hospital. The woman, selected at random, was shot in the face with a pellet gun and repeatedly stabbed. Her body was later found in her vehicle at the mall.

Almost two decades later, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported that state prosecutors believed Saito fit "all the criteria of a serial killer" and opposed his release. Saito was also later diagnosed with sexual sadism and necrophilia.

Hawaii News Now has reached out to the state Health Department, which manages the State Hospital, to get additional details on the rules Saito must follow under his commitment to the State Hospital. "They're given opportunities to explore individual interests and activities", says Dr. Mark Fridovich with the Adult Mental Health Division, Department of Health.

Honolulu prosecutor, Wayne Tashima, warned the public that Saito is a "very risky individual" and advised those who see him to not approach. "The State is in close contact with law enforcement to make this happen".

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