Update: Mental health patient returns to hospital - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Update: Mental health patient returns to hospital

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ALBANY, N.Y. - A mental health patient who the Albany County Sheriff's Office says left the courthouse Thursday has turned up at Albany Medical Center.

Police in Albany had been searching for 43-year-old George Siddon after he left the Albany County Courthouse before attending a hearing to determine his mental health.

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple tells NEWS10 Siddon was considered to be a "danger to himself and others" and is "prone to violence."

Sheriff Apple says Siddon, of Albany, was at the courthouse for a mental health evaluation when he walked into the elevator and left the building. Surveillance footage shows the Albany Medical Center handler who was supposed to be supervising Siddon was on their cell phone as Siddon gets on the elevator to leave the building.

Apple tells NEWS10 from time to time, the hospital will send patients to court for a routine hearing to see whether they can be released or have to be hospitalized, but at no time was the patient in criminal custody. 

According to Apple, Siddon did not break the law by leaving the courtroom because he is not a convicted criminal.  However, he did break hospital protocol.  He says hospitals routinely bring in mental health patients for hearings without law enforcement's knowledge, but after this incident, he says something needs to be done for this not to happen again.

"We need to be aware of who is coming and going in this building and for people just to walk in here and find out that the person could pose a threat to others it's very problematic when the law enforcement agency is not made aware of that," he said. 

Siddon did return to Albany Medical Center on his own volition, and a spokesperson for the hospital was unable to comment on the patient or the incident due to HIPPA laws.

When asked about their protocols the hospital said they would send a statement, but one was not received by airtime.

Sheriff Apple says after Siddon left, they sent out a statewide teletype asking other law enforcement to keep an eye out for him.

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