No Hawaii State Hospital employees will be disciplined following the November 2017 escape of killer Randall Saito, who made his way to Maui and then California using cash and a fake identification, state officials announced today.
Six hospital employees were placed on paid leave following Saito’s escape and four will be reinstated and retrained, said state Health director Bruce Anderson.
Two of the six employees retired. A seventh employee was a contracted nurse who was not retained.
Neither Anderson nor state Attorney General Russell Suzuki today provided details of how Saito walked off the hospital grounds and took a taxi to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport where he chartered a plane to Maui, paying cash.
Police at the time said Saito used a fake ID, then flew to San Jose, Calif., on a commercial flight, arriving at about 5:30 p.m. He was later arrested in Stockton, Calif., after inquiring about the cost to take a taxi to Reno, Nev.
Suzuki and Anderson today announced the results of an administrative investigation that cleared the six hospital employees. Suzuki said a separate criminal investigation is underway looking at the details of Saito’s escape but he offered no details.
Saito was committed to the hospital in 1981 after he was acquitted, by reason of insanity, of shooting and stabbing 29-year-old Sandra Yamashiro, who was in a car parked next to Saito’s at Ala Moana Center.
Saito was diagnosed with sexual sadism and necrophilia.
He is in custody at Oahu Community Correctional Center.
In August, ground-breaking began on a new Hawaii State Hospital that is intended to address a patient population that has grown to 170. In 2017, 94 percent of the patients were court ordered, compared to 1996 when 71 percent of patients were court ordered.
The new hospital is scheduled to open in mid-2021, Anderson said.
After new fencing was installed following Saito’s escape, no one has escaped this year, Health officials said.