FRENCH CAMP, Calif. — The Latest on a man’s escape from a Hawaii psychiatric hospital and his capture in California (all times local):
A man who escaped from a psychiatric hospital in Hawaii and was caught in California told a judge he doesn’t want to go back.
Randall Saito, who acknowledges killing a woman nearly 40 years ago, appeared in court in Stockton on Friday for the first time since his arrest this week.
Saito, who was handcuffed and chained at his waist, asked for a court-appointed attorney. He told the judge: “I really don’t want to go back to Hawaii.”
Saito left the hospital in suburban Honolulu on Sunday, got a taxi to the airport and took a charter plane to Maui. From there, he caught a flight to San Jose and taxi to Stockton.
Saito said in a jailhouse interview that he was surprised his escape worked.
He’s due back in court in California on Nov. 27.
A man who walked out of a psychiatric hospital in Hawaii and made it to California before being captured says he’s surprised his escape worked.
Randall Saito spoke to The Associated Press at a jail near Stockton, California, before a Friday court appearance.
Saito left the hospital in suburban Honolulu on Sunday, got a taxi to the airport and took a charter plane to Maui. From there, he caught a flight to San Jose.
Saito says he used a fake ID and was expecting to be nabbed on almost every leg of the journey.
He was caught Wednesday when a taxi driver in Stockton saw a TV report about the escape and realized Saito had been in her cab.
He was committed to the hospital after being found not guilty of a woman’s death by reason of insanity.
Saito says he’s contrite for the nearly 40-year-old killing but that he faked mental illness to get out of a prison sentence.
A man who acknowledges killing a woman nearly 40 years ago says he escaped from a Hawaii psychiatric hospital to prove that he could behave properly out in the community.
Randall Saito tells San Francisco television station KGO-TV in a jail interview that the Hawaii State Hospital wouldn’t give him a chance. He says each time he applied for release, officials made him “sound like a bad guy.”
So he plotted an escape, which he carried out Sunday.
He walked out of the hospital, got a taxi to the airport and took a chartered plane to Maui, where he caught another flight to San Jose, California.
Saito was captured Wednesday in Stockton after authorities got a tip from a taxi driver.
He’s scheduled to appear in court for a hearing Friday.