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Police looking for dangerous escapee known as ‘Jesus Bandit’

  • COURTESY CRIMESTOPPERS

    Richard Leibman

Police are asking for the public’s help in locating a dangerous state hospital escapee, known as the “Jesus Bandit” on Kauai.

A CrimeStoppers alert was issued today, and police said Richard Leibman escaped from the Hawaii State Hospital on Saturday at approximately 6:40 p.m.

“Leibman walked out of an unlocked door while the staff was in the process of transitioning another patient. The staff chased him but lost sight when he entered the heavy brush area. He is considered dangerous,” police said.

Leibman is 38 and described as 5-foot-9 inches, 130 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.

Leibman has a history of escapes and resisting arrest.

He went missing in 2014 from Kahi Mohala and failed to appear at a status hearing at Lihue District Court on Dec. 4, 2014.

He tried to run from police on Feb. 15 when officers tried to arrest him near the parking lot of the Poipu Sands condominum. Kauai police said he kicked an officer several times while trying to scale a wall, but officers were still able to arrest him.

The Garden Island newspaper reported that residents on the North Shore gave him the nickname of the “Jesus Bandit,” because he wore a robe and had long hair and a beard.

He was arrested for tresspassing, burglary and other charges after police received complaints in 2014 that he was entering Princeville homes to take food and other belongings, the Garden Island reported.

Leibman was found unfit to stand trial and his mother tried to take him to Texas for mental health treatment, but he ran away at the Lihue Airport, the newspaper said.

Anyone with information about Leibman is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME via cellular phone. The public may now send anonymous text and web tips. Text “CS808” plus your message to 274637 or CRIMES

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    • Catch the guy and send him directly to Texas. Why waste Hawaii’s taxpayers dollars in a State Hospital? In the long run Hawaii will pay more vs. just hiring 2-3 Sheriff round trip tickets to Texas and Back. Just doesn’t make any sense at all, ship him back and be done with him for Gawd’s sake.

    • Out here the driver’s license description of race doesn’t mean much, because we are so kalakoa. Lot of licenses say “caucasian” but the person actually looks local and no could pick ‘um out of a crowd.

      In fact a detailed description is a lot more useful than the driver’s license race, except for people who look at the written race description and mentally categorize the individual without even a moment’s thought.

      This is Hawai’i, brah, get used to it.

      • Allie has a point that the escape occurred Saturday but the public was not informed till Monday. Had the public known immediately of the escape Kaneohe residents could have been on the lookout for him on Saturday. The guy needs food and water to survive so unless he is has the survivsl skills of Bear Grylls and has repelling gear to handle the rough mountainous terrain behind Kaneohe hospital, he will need to come out of the brush and into peoples yards and garbage cans to obtain food or water. That or enter residents homes to raid their kitchen. Add the fact the guy escaped because a door was unlocked while handling another patient? Allie would be correct that would all fit the textbook description of stoopidity and incompetence.

    • According to news reports last night the legislature is on the verge of release millions to upgrade the hospital. Why on earth are we dumping millions into a facility in which the administration cannot even take care of something as simple as picking up a phone and letting the media know there is a dangerous criminal who has been locked up, loose in our neighborhood. It would be bad enough if this was the first time, but the problem is it isn’t and yet nothing changes.

      • Sounds like the manager of Kaneohe did not want negative publicity and was hoping the ‘dangerous’ mental patient would just get tired and hungry hanging out in the bushes and would walk back to Kaneohe to give himself up. Then they would not have to say anything and no one outside the hospital would know. We he did NOT return on his own by Monday, they could not keep it under wraps any longer and had to report it to the public.

      • agree. And this is not the first time a dangerous prisoner just strolls out. This mental facility has been poorly managed for many, many years I am told.

  • Why is this guy even on Oahu? He should be on Kauai! Seems like that is where he was convicted. Kauai doesn’t want anything from Oahu going there so why should we allow this criminal to come here?

    • You’re proposing that they shoot a 5-9, 130 lb mentally ill individual in the back just because he’s running away?

      You’d be the first one hiring a tort lawyer if that happened to one of your ‘ohana.

      Mo’ betta they huff-n-puff and do a few laps a few times a week so they can chase ‘um down, yeah? Might give ’em a few more years on the earth too.

  • Totally unacceptable, Department of Health Adminstrator and lead Doctor running that joint should be investigated for failing to do their duty. They violated the public’s trust by not notifying other agencies and community in a timely manner.

    • He violated much more than the public trust; he put the public’s safety above whatever reason it was that he didn’t notify the public. If he didn’t have a reason, then it is called incompetence.

  • Totally unacceptable, Department of Health Adminstrator and lead Doctor running that joint should be investigated for failing to do their duty. They violated the public’s trust by not notifying other agencies and community in a timely manner. Hope they notify airport, he might be trying to get back to Kauai. State had one guy runaway to the big island. Got caught about 3 years later because he killed his roomate.

  • Is the article implying a posse? Seems like there’s an issue with apprehension and incarceration. Kauai persona is really getting strange…sorry but with the those who were there to protest the Super Ferry, the changing community social structure, transplants moving into the community finally my nephew and wife’s move of her clinical practice to the mainland and then to top it off the dog barking issues and now this runaway…sad.

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