Hawaii State Hospital escapee arrested

Hawaii State Hospital escapee arrested
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

KANEOHE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - 47-year-old Allen Pitts, a patient who escaped from the Hawaii State Hospital, has been captured by Honolulu police.

Police records show Pitts was arrested on Kalia Road in Waikiki at 11:10 p.m. on Monday.

Pitts, who is said to have a dangerous past, went missing last Saturday.

Meanwhile, officials at the Hawaii State Hospital are reviewing how Pitts was able to escape.

"That's terrible. If somebody is escaping that means the staff is overworked or somebody is not doing their job," said Mo Radke, chair of the Kaneohe Neighborhood Board.

News of the escape left students at Windward Community College uneasy. The school is right next to the hospital in Kaneohe. Crews are still working on a 6-foot high chain link fence that they started building a couple of months ago between the facility and the college to try to deter escapes.

"If they can't get the security down, then maybe something has to be changing there like policy, stuff like that. More people working to control that or at least more security over here to watch out for those," said WCC student Tanielle Tokoro.

Authorities said Pitts broke a window and escaped between 9 and 10 o'clock on Saturday night, but the staff didn't realize he was missing until a bed check at 8 o'clock the next morning.

"We're doing a thorough investigation to see what we can do to get better in this situation and I don't want to disclose anything that may not be appropriate for me to disclose," said William May, administrator of the hospital.

Pitts was first sent to the hospital after his destructive joyride through Waikiki in a stolen dump truck in 2013. A judge found him not guilty by reason of insanity. According to court documents, Pitts was later granted a conditional release, but wound up back in the facility after he violated the terms and allegedly committed new crimes. He was scheduled to be back in court next month to determine whether he was fit to proceed with the new charges against him for harassment and assault on a law enforcement officer.

The overcrowded hospital is moving ahead with plans to build a new $160 million patient care facility with 144 beds.

"That's going to be a major, major improvement here will help security, safety, the therapeutic environment, the services that we can provide to the patients," said May.

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