Hawaii hospital escapee was 17th since 2010, report says

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

Most of the 17 escapes between 2010 and this year resulted from patients not returning to the Hawaii State Hospital after being granted a temporary leave, the Associated Press reported.

Authorities identified Randall Saito, 59, as the most recent patient to escape. After fleeing from the hospital Sunday, Saito managed to hop into a taxi, snag a seat on a charter flight to Maui and slip aboard a jet to California, authorities said.

Saito was arrested Wednesday in Stockton, Calif., after authorities received a tip from a taxi driver. Saito had been acquitted in a 1979 murder trial by reason of insanity.

Law enforcement wasn’t notified until eight hours after the escape, the AP reported. Afterward, seven hospital employees were placed on unpaid leave after an internal inquiry suggested workers inadvertently or intentionally neglected to supervise Saito or inform supervisors he was missing, said Dr. Virginia Pressler, director of the Hawaii Department of Health.

The investigation is continuing, authorities said.

Meanwhile, documents obtained by the AP show that in 2015, a patient who had a history of "threatening/assaultive behavior" didn’t return after going unescorted to the cafeteria, before ultimately being captured. And in 2010, a patient attempted to escape by climbing over a perimeter fence -- using a bedsheet as a rope.

Hawaii’s Gov. David Ige said the public and authorities should have been made aware of the incident sooner, and said the state has started a review of the hospital's practices. There will also be more random patient counts and additional fencing on hospital property, he said.

Authorities haven’t disclosed how Saito was able to board two planes, with the second taking him to California.

The 202-bed facility, located northeast of Honolulu, is the state's only publicly funded state psychiatric facility.

Although most escapees are found within a few days, one patient in 2009 was able to elude authorities for nearly three years, said Janice Okubo, a spokeswoman for the Hawaii State Department of Health.

Fox News' Katherine Lam and the Associated Press contributed to this report.