Officials: “Violent psychopath” escaped Hawaii psychiatric hospital, boarded flight


HONOLULU — Hawaii authorities were searching Tuesday for a man who has been called a “violent psychopath” who escaped from the state’s psychiatric hospital outside Honolulu and flew to Maui. From there, he boarded a flight to California, sources told CBS affiliate KGMB.

Randall Saito, who was found not guilty of a 1979 murder by reason of insanity, walked away from the State Hospital in Kaneohe on Sunday morning, got into a waiting cab and boarded a charter plane to Maui, sources tell the station. Then, multiple sources tell the station, Saito boarded another flight to San Jose, Calif.

“He is a very dangerous individual,” said Wayne Tashima, a Honolulu prosecutor who argued in 2015 against Saito receiving passes to leave the hospital grounds without an escort.

It’s not known whether Saito is still in California, according to KGMB, though he reportedly has family there. Federal agencies, including the FBI and U.S. Marshals, have joined in a massive manhunt in an effort to locate him.

Tashima warned people not to approach Saito, saying there’s a concern he could commit the same “very heinous and violent offense” again.

“Because he committed a murder, no matter how long ago it was, he still has ability or inherent ability to do another murder or violent crime,” Tashima told the station.

Authorities asked anyone with information on Saito to call police.

Saito was committed to the hospital in 1981 after being acquitted by reason of insanity of the murder of Sandra Yamashiro. She had been shot and repeatedly stabbed before her body was found in her car at a Honolulu shopping mall. Authorities said she was targeted at random.

Defense attorneys sought to have Saito released in 2000. But Jeff Albert, a deputy city prosecutor, objected, saying Saito “fills all the criteria of a classic serial killer.”

In 1993, a court denied Saito’s request for conditional release, saying he continued to suffer from sexual sadism and necrophilia.

The state Department of Health operates the hospital, which houses over 300 patients in Kaneohe. The department said it’s investigating the escape. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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