Authorities recapture 'dangerous' State Hospital patient who esc - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Authorities recapture 'dangerous' State Hospital patient who escaped

Richard Leibman Richard Leibman
KANEOHE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The Hawaii State Hospital escapee considered “dangerous” was recaptured early Tuesday, according to Honolulu police.

Officers arrested 38-year-old Richard Leibman, also known as the "Jesus Bandit," near the Halekulani Hotel in Waikiki around 1:50 a.m., hours after police issued an alert to the media about his escape.

According to police, officers responded to an anonymous tip in which someone recognized Leibman from various news reports. He tried to run, but officers were able to apprehend him after a short chase.

He was arrested on a felony escape charge, police said, but it’s unclear whether he will remain in police custody or return to the Kaneohe mental health facility.

Leibman initially escaped Saturday at about 6:40 p.m through an unlocked door while workers were moving another patient.

Hospital staff said they, along with Honolulu police, tried to catch Leibman but lost sight of him as he disappeared into a heavy brush area.

"Once we notice a patient is missing an alarm goes out code 77 here and staff know what to do," said Hospital Administrator William May. "They have areas to check internally in the building and outside."

Leibman earned the nickname "Jesus Bandit" because of his long hair and beard. He's also known for wearing a robe and breaking into homes stealing food. A convicted burglar, Leibman is known to evade capture from authorities. He was arrested last year on Kauai after escaping from police five times.

"He's very agile," said Capt. Bryson Ponce with the Kauai Police Department. "He's scaled very high cliffs, climbed very tall trees and hopped over high fences."

According to Hospital staff, Windward Community College and the Oahu Transit Authority were notified immediately after the escape Saturday, but not the media or the rest of the public. When asked why, Honolulu police told Hawaii News Now they're investigating this matter. 

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