Surveillance video shows escapee in taxi, dispatcher says ‘he sounded so nice’

Local News

Hawaii State Hospital escapee Randall Saito was arrested early Wednesday morning in San Joaquin, California, hours after the Hawaii Attorney General’s office charged Saito with felony escape and issued a $500,000 bench warrant for his arrest.

Multiple agencies are now involved in the search for Hawaii State Hospital escapee Randall Saito.

Police say the 59-year-old left the Kaneohe facility Sunday morning and hailed a taxi from Kaneohe District Park, less than a mile away.

Records show at 9:16 a.m. Sunday, Saito used a cell phone to call Charley’s Taxi. He told the dispatcher his name was Bill.

“He sounded so nice,” said the dispatcher, who wanted to remain anonymous.

A female driver picked him up and took him to an area near Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

“So, just for about those 20 minutes or so, she was in the same car with him,” the dispatcher said. “I said, you need to take care of my driver because 1) She’s a woman, 2) You’re at a park. He was like, ‘Oh, no worry, no worry, I’ll take care of her.’ I said, ‘Well, good, because I’m going to track you all the way to where you’re going.”

Saito paid the driver about $50 in cash. He was dropped off near Royal Pacific Air, a private charter company off Lagoon Drive.

Sources say investigators found Saito’s red jacket in a dumpster on the property.

Police also found receipts, showing Saito mailed a package to an address in Stockton, Calif.

According to the Maui Police Department, Saito then took a charter flight to Kahului.

Maui police examined footage from Kahului Airport, and learned Saito took a flight to San Jose.

Honolulu police confirm he landed at around 5:30 p.m. Hawaii time Sunday, three hours before the public was even notified he was missing.

Police say hospital staff called 911 to report Saito’s disappearance shortly after 7:30 p.m.

A second-degree escape case was initiated, and an all-points bulletin was issued at 8:30 p.m.

Maui Sen. Kalani English called the Department of Health, demanding answers on how Saito escaped.

“How do you do this all by yourself? The department has not been able to answer my basic questions. The speculation I’m doing is what everybody else is doing,” English said. “They should know basic questions, like did he have access to the Internet? It’s a yes or no question. … They said they don’t know.

“At the department, their answer is: HPD is looking into this. That tells me there’s a serious breach of policies in place. We have to look into this at the next session,” English added.

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