Thursday, May 17, 2001

Honolulu police officers searched in Kahala Tuesday
for escaped mental hospital patient Leonard Moore.

Escapee’s mental
evaluation to
take place in
police cell

The location change is due
to Leonard Moore's 2 escapes
from the state hospital

By Nelson Daranciang

The mental evaluation of recaptured Hawaii State Hospital escapee Leonard Moore will be done in the cellblock at police headquarters, said hospital Administrator Barbara Peterson.

"Based on those evaluations, we will determine where he can best be placed," she said.

The evaluation was supposed to have been done at the hospital in Kaneohe, but Moore escaped from the facility twice in a three-week span, and state health officials said they did not want him there.

"The individual was originally transferred to the state hospital," said state Health Director Bruce Anderson. "We made a determination that we did not have the security ... to house the individual there. And the police agreed to take the individual back to jail."

Police took Moore back to the hospital after recapturing him before dawn yesterday in a Kahala neighborhood. The arrest happened less than a mile from where the SWAT team searched house to house for him Tuesday.

Moore escaped from the state hospital on March 28 by throwing a table through a glass window. After he was captured three days later and returned to the hospital, he escaped again on April 7, this time by throwing a television set through a window.

State Circuit Judge Rey Graulty committed Moore to the state hospital on March 20 for an evaluation to determine whether he is mentally fit to stand trial for auto theft. Graulty told state health officials yesterday they can conduct the evaluation wherever they deem appropriate, Anderson said.

"One of the advantages of the system as we have it now is, we can make adjustments as we go along. And we've made some significant changes at the hospital in response to some of the recent leaves," Anderson said.

The changes included fenced courtyards, security locks, an alarm system and reinforced windows, state health officials said. But Peterson said the facility is not a prison.

"It's a hospital," she said, "and we're there to treat individuals."

Police said Moore had been seen a number of times in Kahala in the past week. They believe he may have been involved in several burglaries and auto thefts in the area, including one early Saturday in which a police officer fired two shots at him but missed.

Police did not find a weapon when they arrested Moore yesterday.

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