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State hospital escapee recaptured

  • COURTESY CRIMESTOPPERS

    Richard Leibman

  • KAUAI COUNTY POLICE

    This is what Richard Liebman looked like when he was arrested on Kauai in 2014.

The Hawaii State Hospital escapee, known on Kauai as the “Jesus Bandit,” was captured early this morning in Waikiki.

Richard Leibman, who escaped from the Hawaii State Hospital at about 6:40 p.m. Saturday by walking out of “an unlocked door, was taken into custody by police at 1:48 a.m. on Kalia Road near the Halekulani Hotel.

Leibman, 38, now faces a second-degree escape charge. He is being held in the cell block at the main police station.

Leibman bolted Saturday through an unlocked door while workers were moving another patient.

Hospital staff chased the suspect, but lost in him the heavy brush near the Windward Oahu hospital.

Leibman has convictions for misdemeanor theft, assaulting police officers, resisting arrest and criminal contempt.

Leibman has a history of escapes, including one in 2014 when he went missing from Kahi Mohala.

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

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  • Here’s a related story to this escape. As a first responder, we were called to the State Hospital for alarm bells ringing. Upon arrival, 3 of us entered the facility to investigate. No one was around and the door was open. After a few minutes, we seen some people just sitting around cruising in another room. All of a sudden, a staff member asked why are you here and how did you get in. They had no idea it was a call from them. We showed them how we came in and they were just surprised that the doors were open. We thought the people were a little different but we couldn’t tell the difference from the staff and patients! We were donned in full protected gear with SCBA’s and carrying axes and pry tools!

    • The facility has been poorly managed for many years as the SA reported. I hope they can, if this man is so dangerous, keep him secured. He just wandered out the front door! Actually, I work late in Waikiki and see many like him hanging around.

      • This, again, shows the incompetence of our state “officials”, whom are appointed for political favors, not competence or experience, to run state agencies. Until the electorate (we the people) stop voting for incumbents, things like this will continue.

  • Permanently drug damaged needs to be sequestered permanently in a prison. Forget mental illness needs special treatment. Criminals use it as an excuse for better living arrangements.

    • No worry, this one easy to find, just look for the nearest goats. He used to be called the NaPali Goat Boy , until he started coming into town and stealing .

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