Hawaii psychiatric patient says he's surprised escape worked

Doris Richards
November 18, 2017

Escaped hospital patient Randall Saito points to a guard as he sits in an inmate visitor's booth at San Joaquin County Jail before a scheduled court hearing. Saito told the judge he didn't want to waive extradition.

In a jailhouse interview Thursday, Saito told me he was being mistreated at the state hospital in Hawaii and is the reason why he escaped. "I was expecting nearly every leg of the way, I was expecting them to be right around the corner just going to nab me".

Saito, 59, walked off hospital grounds Sunday morning and caught a cab to Lagoon Drive where he chartered a flight to Maui and boarded a commercial flight to San Jose.

When the fugitive landed in San Jose, he said it felt "surreal" that he managed to pull off his daring escape.

Court records from that case described how the "manipulative" murderer had had sexual relationships with several hospital staff.

"I had no delusions of settling down". So I decided I needed to escape to prove to them on my own that I can be out here and act appropriately.

"Well, I trust him when he said in court, 'I don't want to go back to Hawaii, '" said San Joaquin County Supervising Deputy District Attorney Robert Himelblau. I was out. I didn't drink. But he said he regretted doing so.

Saito was acquitted of murder by reason of insanity in the 1979 killing of Sandra Yamashiro. A 2002 article by the Honolulu Advertiser reported Saito picked his victim at random.

"I am terribly contrite for what I did", he told the AP.

"I regret the murder. And no one can be sorrier than I because no one is more culpable". Saito was diagnosed with sexual sadism and necrophilia and has been committed to the state hospital for almost four decades.

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE MANDATORY CREDIT
Randall Saito was arrested in Stockton Calif. Wednesday Nov. 15 2017

Saito, who has said he abused substances before the killing, said the hospital was never going to give him a chance so "whether this worked out or not, or whether it made things worse, what does it matter?" The wind was blowing in my face. I was paranoid, ' he said, adding that on the night of the killing he lost his grip on sanity and 'snapped'.

Authorities said they received a tip that Saito might be headed to his brother's home in Stockton.

In Hawaii, Saito will be held as a pre-trial felon at the Oahu Community Correctional Center unless he posts $500,000 bail, officials said.

She said Friday that she wonders whom Saito knows and if her life is in jeopardy.

The Hawaii Attorney General's Office charged Saito Tuesday with second-degree felony escape, a class C felony. Prosecutors called it a "stall tactic".

Saito is due back here in court on November 27.

Investigators said they are trying to determine how Saito obtained cash, the mobile device and new clothes after leaving the mental hospital. Repeated attempts by Saito to win such passes were rejected by the court.

He was allowed to roam the hospital grounds unattended.

Staffers at the Hawaii State Hospital have been placed on unpaid leave pending the outcome of an investigation into the circumstances of Saito's escape. Hawaii Gov. David Ige has said the public and authorities should have been notified much sooner.


Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER