By Isis Iverson
Over the past eight years, Hawaii has had more than a dozen escapes at one of their psychiatric hospitals. Many of the 17 escapes between 2010 and 2017 occurred when a patient broke curfew, marking the first of many escapes. The patient, described as dangerous, walked off the grounds and made it to California before he was captured. After being allowed to leave for a period of time, the escapee planned to never return to the Hawaii State Hospital.
On Sunday, November 12, 59-year-old escapee Randall Saito hailed a cab to a chartered plane bound for Maui, Hawaii. He then boarded another plane to San Jose, California, according to police. Three days later, he was captured in Stockton after authorities got a tip from a taxi driver.
It took the hospital at least eight hours to notify law enforcement that Saito was missing. The Associated Press (AP) initially requested information from dozens of states, including Hawaii, about psychiatric facility escapes following a 2016 breakout in Washington state. Mr. Garver was accused of torturing a woman to death. Anthony Garver crawled out of a window of his ground-floor room, at Western State Hospital in Lakewood, Washington, rode a bus 300 miles (480 kilometers) and was captured days later.
Officials have still not provided details about how Saito was able to charter a plane, then fly on another plane to California. Video footage from inside Saito’s taxi to the chartered flight shows him using a cellphone, after getting in with a backpack. During the ride, he makes two phone calls. “I’m on my way,” Saito said to someone he called Mickey. A few minutes later, he made another call: “Is this the captain that’s going to fly to Maui today?