[UPDATE] Authorities Search for Mental Patient Accused of Violence

By: Deneige Broom Email
By: Deneige Broom Email

Tallahassee, Florida --

Chattahoochee Police say the man who escaped the Florida State Hospital campus is back in custody.

Chief Vann Pullen says around 11 o'clock last night 11/23, the 52-year-old Tallahassee man was spotted in Jackson County.

Deputies and hospital security brought him back to the facility and say they didn't have any problems.

He wasn't injured during his short stint of freedom.

Law enforcement will not release his identity but he was a resident of
the hospital's forensic program.

Patients in that unit have faced criminal charges but a court commits them either for insanity or incompetence to proceed.

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A 52 year old patient has been missing from the Florida State Hospital since around 10 a.m. Monday.

Residents say it isn't uncommon for patients to make their way into the community, but this one is different.

"Because of the past history this individual had," said Chattahoochee Police Chief, Vann Pullen. "They were criminal charges and some of them did involve some violence issues, therefore in this case, there would be a need to be concerned. The other residents are there for a particular reason but they don't have crime associated with it."

Hospital administration says the man was in the Forensic Program.

On the hospital's website it says: Every person admitted to the Forensic Program is committed by the courts and may come from any county in the State. All forensic residents have been charged with crimes and may be Incompetent to Proceed, or Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity.

Authorities will not release a name or photo of the Tallahassee man because they say that information is protected.

Chattahoochee Police say he's a black man who's six feet tall, 187 pounds and was last seen wearing blue jeans and a purple shirt or sweater.

Police Chief Pullen says the man was not wearing restraints and was last seen in a wooded area north of the campus.

Pullen says since they don't know where he may have gone, residents everywhere should be on alert.

"They need to be observant. They're our eyes and ears. If they see an individual who's strange to them in their community, you need to call your local law enforcement, call 911."

Chattahoochee P.D. says it's notified surrounding counties and states, and have been using k-9 units trying to track him down.

Chief Pullen said, if the hospital doesn't ask for the man to be taken in under an arrest warrant, law enforcement can't reveal the man's identity.

If an arrest warrant is issued, authorities can release his name and photo.

We'll bring you more information as it becomes available.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 24, 2010 at 04:16 PM
    Tally Resident- What would your recourse be if you had a mentally ill family member, possibly one of your adult children, that you/family committed under Baker numerous times, is a threat to themselves, refuses to sign HIPPA allowing family members to know the diagnosis, is placed on medication, released and refuses to take their medication causing their condition to deteriorate. The family, not being able to care for the person, Bakers them over and over, the same scenario again and again. I can tell you what your recourse is, you have none. HIPPA stops you, this is the way the patient maintains control, a part of their mental problem. The facility cannot even reveal to you whether or not the person is a patient there & you could possibly be the one who sent them there. This goes on all the time and families are frustrated to the point of exhaustion dealing with the foolishness. Bet you didn't know this, did you? Get the facts before you speak of things you know nothing about.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 24, 2010 at 03:36 PM
    To: Tally Resident-I know what HIPPA is, don't make assumpions. "The HIPPA law is not to protect people once they have been discharged from the hospital or "walking amoung us causing problems". HIPPA protects them regardless of where they are, in or out, get real, ask law enforcement. "Anyone who feels like their loved one is a threat to themselves or others can have them Baker Acted to a mental health receiving facility for evaluation." If you believe Baker works I can sell you oceanfront in Arizona. You are wrong, mentally ill patients make a joke of Baker, the psychologists & their families. They enter the front door under Baker, tell the psychologists what they want to hear, the doctors send them out the back door in the same condition as when they arrived. You are debating with experience, it has nothing to do with stigma, mental illness is not shameful, or maybe it is to you. If allowing my medical records to be on display aids my care, I'm not that proud, show them.
  • by Gravelyconcern Location: S. FL on Nov 24, 2010 at 11:07 AM
    What explanations, if any, did the employee heading the Security Dept w/the trainws K-9 Dogs and/or Administrator of FL State Hospital give? As they are responsible for the custodial of the patients and making sure the residents of the community are safe. It is my understanding that the K-9 dogs won some type of award this year and the dogs salaries are more than some of the employees salaries. Hopefully, with our new Governor Scott things will soon change at FSH and the community will be safe again.
  • by Tally Resident Location: Tallahassee on Nov 24, 2010 at 09:40 AM
    Actually Annonymous, The HIPPA law is not to protect people once they have been discharged from the hospital or "walking amoung us causing problems".The HIPAA law applies to the medical records and privacy of mentally ill patients as well as anyone who has ever been admitted to a hospital or seen in any medical facility for any reason. Would you like your medical records open to the public? Anyone who feels like their loved one is a threat to themselves or others can have them Baker Acted to a mental health receiving facility for evaluation. I promise you there are people you interact with on a daily basis who have mental disorders and you would never know. The sitgma surrounding mental illness is the problem. Or possible your negativity. If you want the HIPAA act to not be around you better be prepared for ALL of your medical records to be on display for all to see.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 24, 2010 at 07:16 AM
    Anonymous on Nov 24, 2010 at 09:11 AM - The answer to your question is FEDERAL REGULATON "HIPPA". The mentally ill have more rights than anyone, helped by the Government & Mental Health System. The Mental Health System is broken, try getting help for a mentally ill family member, it's almost impossible. The system expects the mentally ill to seek treatment on their own, they don't even know they are sick! Furthermore, they have the right(under HIPPA) to withhold information about their illness & walk among us causing problems, especially to family members who are asked to seek counseling to learn to deal with them,family members are not MH professionals. Until they hurt themselves/someone else they are then forced into incarceration but..we still are not supposed to know their names. These people are protected better than the White House. WCTV should do an intensive report on what really goes on in the Mental Health System. The public would be suprised & grateful.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 24, 2010 at 06:11 AM
    They put folks' pictures on this site for being arrested (not gone to trial yet) for shoplifting. Why not put THE PICTURE ON HERE of some person who has been in the forensic unit at a mental hospital? Everybody, call your elected officials right now, and get this law changed. Do it now. This is pure idiocy. He could be riding a Greyhoud bus right now and be a danger to everybody around him. Do they even send photos of him to LE so they at least see what he looks like? and the bus stations? Sometimes I wonder why elect the people we do.
  • by citizen Location: Gadsden county on Nov 24, 2010 at 05:29 AM
    The resident was no longer in the Forensic Unit. He had been transfered to a "civil" (non-forensic) unit earlier in the month. The public should be asking why this guy was allowed out on the grounds so quickly after being transfered from the froensic unit.
  • by emptynester on Nov 24, 2010 at 04:27 AM
    How in the heck did someone leave the Forensic Unit? Maybe Adminstration had better start looking for ways to better confine the dangerous patients (oh, excuse me.....they are not referred to as patients, but are considered RESIDENTS....what a joke)instead of finding every way possible to allow them rights which they do not deserve/need.
  • by trey Location: tallahassee on Nov 23, 2010 at 07:51 PM
    how ridiculous that they will not show his photo....typical bologna
  • by Kim on Nov 23, 2010 at 07:38 PM
    I can not believe they will not show a photo. That makes no sense.
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