Man who es­caped state psy­chi­atric hospi­tal had fake IDs, phones, cash


HONOLULU — A man who es­caped from a state psy­chi­atric hospi­tal and flew to Cal­i­for­nia was caught with two high-qual­ity fake IDs, two cell­phones and more than $6,000 in cash, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments.

Ran­dall Saito’s es­cape from Hawaii State Hospi­tal in Novem­ber “was not a mat­ter of hap­pen­stance or a crime of op­por­tu­nity, but re­quired de­tailed plan­ning and con­sid­er­able fi­nan­cial re­sources,” Hawaii Deputy At­tor­ney Gen­eral Kory Young said in a mo­tion to keep him be­hind bars.

If Saito posts bail now set at $500,000, he will be re­turned to Hawaii State Hospi­tal, where he was com­mit­ted af­ter be­ing ac­quit­ted by rea­son of in­san­ity for a woman’s 1979 killing.

Of­fi­cials are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing how he was able to es­cape, in­clud-

were found on Ran­dal Saito, an ad­mit­ted killer who es­caped from a state psy­chi­atric hospi­tal, ac­cord­ing to a mo­tion filed by the state. Pros­e­cu­tors filed the doc­u­ments Thurs­day in an at­tempt to keep Saito in jail in­stead of re­turn­ing him to the hospi­tal he fled.

ing where he got the money and other sup­plies. If he re­turned to the hospi­tal, it would be im­pos­si­ble to keep him away from po­ten­tial wit­nesses, hospi­tal Ad­min­is­tra­tor Wil­liam May wrote in a let­ter to the court.

Saito plot­ted his es­cape with a banned cell­phone, pros­e­cu­tors said in doc­u­ments.

Af­ter walk­ing out of the hospi­tal, he called a taxi that took him to the air­port, where he caught a char­tered flight to Maui. He used an alias to ar­range the flight and paid $1,445 cash for it, the mo­tion said. He then took a com­mer­cial flight to San Jose, Calif.

When he was ar­rested in nearby Stock­ton 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.

“We do not know if de­fen­dant Saito has a cache of other fake IDs at his dis­posal,” Young wrote. “We do not know if there are other se­cret sources of money he can tap into.”

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 dump­ster 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.

“Whether he was pro­vided with the back­pack by an­other in­di­vid­ual, or if he had se­creted the back­pack some­where off of the hospi­tal grounds is un­known,” the pros­e­cu­tor’s mo­tion said.

Hospi­tal of­fi­cials are con­sid­er­ing GPS an­kle mon­i­tors in the wake of Saito’s es­cape, May, the hospi­tal ad­min­is­tra­tor, told law­mak­ers Fri­day.

It took the hospi­tal at least eight hours to no­tify law en­force­ment that Saito was miss­ing. There needs to be a way to get in­for­ma­tion about es­caped pa­tients to air­port se­cu­rity of­fi­cials, state Sen. Will Espero said.

“If a killer is on the loose, al­though he was not guilty due to in­san­ity, this is the type of in­di­vid­ual that we want his face plas­tered as far out as pos­si­ble, to as many venues, peo­ple with eyes, who might be in a po­si­tion to stop him or her,” he said.

Saito spoke to The As­so­ci­ated Press in a jail near Stock­ton, Calif., in Novem­ber be­fore telling a judge he didn’t want to go back to Hawaii.

He re­fused to say if any­one helped him es­cape, where he got the money to travel or how he ac­quired what he called “a pretty good” fake ID. He in­sisted that he only es­caped to show that he should be free.

Hawaii Pub­lic De­fender Jack Ton­aki, whose of­fice is rep­re­sent­ing Saito on the es­cape charge, said it’s too early to com­ment on the al­le­ga­tions.

U.S. mar­shals brought Saito back to Hawaii ear­lier this week. A court hear­ing is sched­uled for Tues­day.

Pro surfers Torsten Durkan (front from left), Ty Simp­son-Kane, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Jesse Rich­man and Al­bee Layer pose with Haiku Ele­men­tary School stu­dents, who re­ceived their new wa­ter can­teens Fri­day.

Hawaii At­tor­ney Gen­eral photo via AP

Two fake ID cards

AP file photo

Es­caped state hospi­tal pa­tient Ran­dall Saito points to a guard as he sits in an in­mate vis­i­tor’s booth at San Joaquin County Jail be­fore a sched­uled court hear­ing in French Camp, Calif., last month. U.S. mar­shals brought Saito back to Hawaii ear­lier this week. A court hear­ing is sched­uled for Tues­day.

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