Sheriff: Mental health patient left court hearing, later found
Surveillance video from courthouse. (Albany County Sheriff's Office)
ALBANY, N.Y. – A mental health patient in court for a confinement hearing on Thursday ran off before he was later found at a relative's home, according to the Albany County Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff Craig Apple confirmed that the 34-year-old was in court and had an aide with him. He said Albany Medical Center protocol is to provide the aide, but that the aide is not trained to try and restrain the patient.
The aide alerted sheriffs and after four hours the man was located after his grandfather alerted authorities.
Officials say there was no danger to the public, but Sheriff Apple said something needs to change since this is the second time in six months that a patient left court.
"We had a meeting a few months ago after the last time. I understand they don't want anybody hurt but maybe we ought to look at whose bringing them over and whose handling them and the training they have," he said.
In August 2013, a mental health patient left the courthouse, he later turning up at Albany Medical Center.
A spokesperson for the hospital was unable to comment on the patient or the incident due to HIPPA laws. When asked about possible changes put in place after the first incident, they said they could not comment.