Escaped patient returned to AZ Mental Hospital

Posted at 7:35 PM, Dec 07, 2015

The Phoenix Police Department has captured the Arizona State Hospital patient who left an off-site treatment related activity last week. 

The unidentified patient was returned to the Arizona State Hospital at 2:45 p.m. Monday.

The man is a resident in one of the Arizona State Hospital's forensic units, which typically house criminally-insane patients.

He escaped about noon on Wednesday.


State health officials said he is "considered to be low-risk for potential harm to others."

ABC15 spoke to multiple sources who said the patient was able to escape while at an off-site addiction meeting. State officials added that the patient was able to remove a GPS tracking device.

The state hospital has had previous problems with patient escapes. Those issues were highlighted in a 2013 ABC15 investigation that found 16 patients had escaped in a three-year period.

One of the patients ended up murdering a woman in 2011.

In recent months, the Arizona State Hospital has instituted a series of reforms stemming from an ABC15 investigation and a pair of outside reviews.

Health department officials say they can't release any information about the patient's identity.